Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa's inauguration takes place amid political climate of fear
Emmerson Mnangagwa to begin second term as president after election that saw abductions and torture of opposition party activists
Another activist abducted and tortured at the weekend
‘The Zimbabwean authorities must stop issuing inflammatory statements that could incite attacks against political activists’ - Khanyo Farisè
Responding to the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa for his second term as president of Zimbabwe amid a political climate of fear and reports of multiple human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, abductions and torture of opposition party activists, Khanyo Farisè, Amnesty International’s Southern Africa Deputy Director, said:
“President Mnangagwa’s inauguration for his second term as president has been severely blighted by reports of attacks against opposition party activists.
“Everyone, regardless of their political affiliation, should be able to freely participate in peaceful activism without fear of abduction or harm.
“The Zimbabwean authorities must stop issuing inflammatory statements that could incite attacks against political activists, human rights defenders and other people.
“The authorities also must ensure a peaceful post-election environment by fully respecting, protecting and ensuring the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression.
“Victims and their families must be provided with access to justice and effective remedies.”
On 26 August, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU PF party had secured re-election as president after gaining a majority of votes.
Fresh abduction at weekend
Cases of arrests, abduction, assault and torture have been reported both during and after the election. At the weekend, Womberaiishe Nhende, the elected councilor for Glen Norah Ward 27 in Harare, was abducted and tortured before being dumped on the outskirts of the city. On 3 August, Nhende was also among a group of individuals seriously injured during skirmishes with ZANU PF activists that led to the death of Tinashe Chitsunge, a political activist for the opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change.