Govt defends UN resolution vote

A significant number of Zimbabweans were enraged after learning that President Emmerson Mnangagwa voted against a United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution on the responsibility to protect and prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

They said this was a sign the Mnangagwa led government was not committed to human rights, stopping brutality nor solving the Gukurahundi genocide.

However, the government says Zimbabwe voted accordingly as its decision was influenced by its own experiences with the West and was not blind to geopolitical dynamics or world affairs.

This UN Resolution A/75/L.82 on the Responsibility to Protect and the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes Against Humanity was the “most effective principle around which the international community can coalesce when vulnerable populations face the threat of atrocity crimes.”

115 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 28 abstained and 15 voted against it.

Secretary-General of a pressure group – Ibhetshu LikaZulu, Mbuso Fuzwayo, said President  Mnangagwa’s vote was ‘another’ proof that the government is not remorseful to the Gukurahundi genocide it committed.

“Their hypocrisy stinks to high heaven. At home they claim they want to resolve the Gukurahundi genocide yet when they are expected to join the progressive world is assuring that genocide will never occur on their watch they refuse,” he said.

“It shows not only their double standards but casts big doubt on their commitment to future peace political processes. It’s indeed another sad day for victims of Gukurahundi genocide, there is no political will on the part of the perpetrator to bring finality to it end.”

But Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba, on his Twitter account said Zimbabwe voted No because this was the same clause used by western powers when they wanted to invade a country, the same was done to Libya had it not been for the double veto by Russia and China.

“Those with no sense of recent history or who mistakenly think western global imperial power is benign and benevolent, forget it was precisely this same clause – Responsibility To Protect – which was used to attack Gaddafi’s Libya, and which almost got invoked,” he said.

Charamba noted the West defined genocide according to its extra-territorial goals.

“This is why what Israel does against the Palestinians falls neither under genocide or responsibility to protect, even though we all know it is the genocidal definition itself crying out for an American-led Responsibility To Protect! Daily, America, United Kingdom oppose even the mildest resolution in defence of the Palestinian people yet are keen to indict China on Chinese citizens of Moslem faith and Venezuelans of Venezuela,” he said.

“The responsibility to protect citizenry of any nationality is that of the nation-state of that polity. It is a moot point to ask the United States of America to accept a joint Russia-Chinese-led global intervention on its territory to exercise and enforce responsibility to protect Blacks in America who are victims of a daily genocidal attack. Zimbabwe’s foreign policy options at the United Nations are that clear, and grounded in its own history, experience, interests, principles and understanding of world affairs.”

Mthwakazi Republic Party leader, Mqondisi Moyo, alleged the “Zanu-PF government openly declared itself as murderers.”

“We are not in the dark as to why they voted against the resolution. Mnangagwa and his government are implicated in every aspect of the resolution. Talk about genocide; war crimes; ethnic cleansing; crimes against humanity, they are culprits in each of these. The Zanu-PF government knows very well that it has a case to answer concerning the genocide it committed against the people of Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980s. About 40 000 people were killed by their Fifth Brigade. Mr Mnangagwa himself knows the role he played in the genocide,” he said.  

Critical Studies scholar, Khanyile Mlotshwa offered an objective analysis noting countries like Cuba and Bolivia, who are serious in terms of fighting for human rights and ‘the human’ within the context of global politics also voted against the UN resolution.

“The problem is that Zimbabwe’s reason may be similar to that of Cuba and Bolivia. Maybe the resolution is nothing but window dressing. Or has a clause that other countries’ sovereignty may be violated in case of a suspected genocide. It might be problematic,” he said.

“I am saying this because Cuba and Bolivia have no history of committing genocide, but America, the USA have a long history of committing genocides even outside their own borders such that to them resolutions like these are just that, documents.”

Mlotshwa pointed out the way this resolution was reported is ideological as under geopolitical dynamics, most countries fell into the Western trap, revealing the contradictions of politics.

“We are being shown part of the whole thing. The devil is in what they are hiding such as the reasons given by Cuba specifically, who have never harmed or violated anyone in the world but have sent out their doctors to heal the world of Covid-19. While American companies and their governments are hoarding vaccines and likely to foster vaccine apartheid (genocide by any other name,” he summed.

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