The Zimbabwe Peace Project condemns the utterances by President Mugabe during the Heroes’ Day celebrations when he said that those who killed white farmers at the height of the violent land reform exercise will not be prosecuted.
President Mugabe was quoted as saying “Yes, we have those who were killed when they resisted. We will never prosecute those who killed them. I ask: Why should we arrest them?” At least 12 commercial White farmers were killed during this period.
ZPP recognises that the government’s land reform has addressed some land imbalances and allowed previously marginalised groups to access agricultural land. However, the right to agricultural land does not trump other rights such as the right to life or the right to equal protection of the law provided for in the constitution.
President Mugabe has a duty not to make public pronouncements that are likely to escalate conflict or strengthen the resolve of offenders to engage in more human rights violations with state guaranteed impunity. As we approach the 2018 elections, irresponsible statements such as these have the effect of giving offenders a sense of comfort that the authorities will turn a blind eye towards their violent activities.
We urge the government to ensure that those who perpetrated violence in the past in the name of government programmes or any other platforms be made accountable for their actions.
ZPP is a Non Governmental Organisation that was founded in 2000 by a group of faith based an human rights NGOs working and interested in human rights and peace-building initiatives. ZPP has become a vehicle for civic interventions in times of political crises. In particular, ZPP seeks to monitor and document incidents of human rights violations and breaches of peace.
If you are concerned about acts of violence in your community, ZPP encourages you to get in touch with us on Hotline and WhatsApp numbers +263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417 Toll Free: 080 80199
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project