Government’s intransigence towards efforts to remedy a deepening national crisis has left Zimbabweans poorer and bearing the brunt of the crises created by the State, the Platform for Concerned Citizens has said.
It said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration had shown it was unable to conduct itself as a responsible member in regional, continental and international platforms.
PCC committee members are; Ibbo Mandaza, Tony Reeler, Briggs Bomba, Godfrey Kanyenze, Frances Lovemore, Simba Makoni, Jestina Mukoko and Tsitsi Dangarembga.
“Citizens of Zimbabwe, who have peacefully borne the brunt of these crises, took the initiative to express their disquiet at the deepening corruption, and apparent lack of solution to their existential challenges, during the month of July 2020,” the PCC said Sunday.
However, “the government’s response to this initiative was brutal. It was this brutal response to citizens’ peaceful cry for relief, which triggered the statements of the ANC of South Africa, the Chair of the AU Commission and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC),” they said.
The government’s response was to deny that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe.
“They deny that the country is in crisis, and, paradoxically, attribute all our problems to national, regional, and international inimical dark forces.”
The PPC said it took exception to the attack on the ZCBC and its pastoral letter condemning the government’s lack of respect for the rule of law.
“The statement attacking the bishops, and in particular the defamatory attacks on the person of its chair, Archbishop Robert C. Ndlovu, can only be described as hate speech,” the statement said.
“This is a scurrilous attack on the Catholic Church, one of the strongest domestic supporters of the people of Zimbabwe, which has maintained this support for decades, both before and after Independence.
“The ZCBC’s commitment to the people of Zimbabwe cannot be doubted or challenged by anyone, except self-serving hypocrites.
“Thus, we call on all churches, national and regional, to express their support for the ZCBC, to express their distaste of the intolerance shown by Zanu PF and the government of Zimbabwe, to citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
“We also call on civil society in its generality, national and regional, and the citizens of Zimbabwe, to express support for, and solidarity with the ZCBC.”
Commenting on the attack of political parties in the SADC region by the African Union (AU), the PCC said the Zimbabwe government evidently feels threatened by the prospect that both SADC and the AU may take more a proactive stance to put an end Zimbabwe’s seemingly unending crisis.
“In this context, we deprecate the attacks by functionaries of the government of Zimbabwe, on the AU, and the insinuation that this august body was influenced to issue its statement on Zimbabwe, by external forces,” said the group.
“At the least, this is deeply insulting to a body that has been engaged with and supportive of Zimbabwe for decades, has been instrumental in assisting Zimbabweans to throw off the yoke of colonial repression, and has always been a good friend and ally to the people of Zimbabwe.
“The AU can lend crucial support in resolving our deep crises, and will be critical in assisting Zimbabwe to return to the international fold.”
Last week, the chair of the AU Commission issued a statement expressing concern over continued human rights violations and offered to assist Zimbabwe to “deepen democracy” which the government strongly rebuked.