Opposition leader in the neighbouring Botswana, Dumelang Saleshando, has unreservedly condemned the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe, telling the ruling ZANU-PF party, “Enough, is enough.”
The condemnation follows the state crackdown on citizens believed to be behind the anti-government protests which had been planned for July 31st.
The crackdown saw Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume, and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, getting arrested and denied bail, something which has attracted local, regional and international criticism.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition MDC-Alliance has said a number of its members have since gone into hiding following threats of abductions by security forces.
In the midst of all this the Zimbabwean government maintains there is no crisis in the country claiming the Southern African nation is under renewed attacks by its detractors.
“Our conscience and principles do not permit us, the Opposition in Botswana, to remain silent in the circumstances where the Zimbabwe state has embarked on a brutal and savage crackdown on its long-suffering citizens,” said Saleshando.
“This we see manifesting itself on a daily basis through abductions, assaults, illegal detentions and surveillance of citizens including journalists and civil activists.”
Saleshando said it was sad to note that since independence Zimbabwe has always been a repressive state with citizens now accustomed to being victims of government onslaught at regular intervals.
He cited the Gukurahundi massacres which claimed more than 20 000 lives in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces of the country, whose perpetrators are going scot-free.
Saleshando condemned the one-party state created after Gukurahundi and the subsequent controversial polls.
“In all of the above instances, as Botswana, the consequences of ZANU-PF repression, misrule and poor governance have spilled across the border into our country in the form of political and economic refugees,” lamented Saleshando.
“It is against this background that we say enough is enough.”
The Botswana opposition leader said they were shocked by their government’s silence over what is happening in Zimbabwe.
“In condemning the ZANU-PF government and the use of its security apparatus against innocent citizens, we are appalled by the silence of our own government, which has decided to bury its head in the proverbial sand by adopting a ‘see no evil…hear no evil posture,’” said Saleshando.
“By saying nothing, the government of Botswana is actually complicit in the atrocities we are witnessing.”
Saleshando said it was high time the Southern African Development Community (SADC) called for an extraordinary summit to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special envoys to Zimbabwe who met President Mnangagwa Monday, seeking to understand what is happening in the country, were reportedly blocked from meeting the opposition and other stakeholders.