The Elders Call for People Led National Dialogue

Chairperson of The Elders, an independent group of world leaders, Mary Robinson has called on Zimbabwe to formulate national dialogue led by citizens in order to rebuild the country while upholding the rule of law.

Robinson made the remarks during the Third National Citizens Convention currently underway organized by the Citizens Manifesto.

In her remarks, she noted that for Zimbabwe to rebuild again, there are several key pillars which must be taken into consideration, key among them being a national dialogue.

“Rebuilding Zimbabwe requires dialogue, solidarity, inclusivity, transparency and accountability… ” she said.

However, Robinson added that this can only be done if the rule of law is upheld, human rights are respected, and no impunity is afforded to those behind abductions, torture, perversion of the course of justice, and violence.

Zimbabwe has been witnessing continued waves of attacks on human rights defenders, journalists, civil society leaders and opposition members.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been accused of being too heavy-handed on its citizen as witnessed by police and military brutality on innocent citizens.

In August this, the government thwarted an anti-corruption demonstration using fear and arbitrary arrests of organisers and critics.

With the economic situation worsening, citizens have been left frustrated with most accusing Mnangagwa’s government of neglecting them while corruption cases continue to soar.

Robinson said the citizens should take the initiative to foster a national dialogue which will entail bringing development.

She called on the government to end impunity of those accused of abducting citizens who speak out against the government.

“I urge you to go ever further down the path of an active citizenry and build connections with wider networks across Zimbabwe for a comprehensive, inclusive national dialogue reflecting the diversity and richness of your beautiful country.

“As you know, this can only be done if the rule of law is upheld, human rights are respected, and there is no impunity afforded to those behind abductions, torture and violence,” she said.

The Mnangagwa administration has been notorious for using excessive force to silence citizens with several cases of abductions having been reported this year.

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