Zimbabwe bid to repeal repressive laws

Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs and international trade, Sibusiso Moyo

HARARE, Zimbabwe, /PRNewswire/ — Zimbabwe is taking action to implement the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission, according to the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sibusiso Moyo.

The independent commission was set up by Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa following the violent protests that flared up after the presidential election last year, in which six people were killed and 35 injured.

The commission was headed by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe and included a British human rights barrister and a former Commonwealth secretary-general. Its key recommendations included reforming Zimbabwe’s laws and prosecuting those responsible for the violence.

The Zimbabwean government is currently modernising 30 laws enacted during the Robert Mugabe era, to meet Western standards. Controversial emergency and media laws are being replaced with new legislations that are currently in Parliament.

Zimbabwe has rapidly begun the task of implementing the Commission’s key recommendations – that include reforming legislation on law and order, freedom and liberalisation of the media and electoral reform,” Minister Moyo said.

The Motlanthe commission found that the violent protests were pre-planned and organised by the opposition MDC. The commission called for the retraining of police to be professional and non-partisan, and to take action against the members of the security forces responsible for the killing of six civilians during the protests.

Minister Moyo announced that the government will begin legal action against the perpetrators: “We can expect prosecutions of those responsible to begin next year, after the police and prosecution services have completed their post-inquiry investigations.”

The progress made by Zimbabwe was recently acknowledged by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who met President Mnangagwa during the UN General Assembly last month.

“I think there are a number of areas where Zimbabwe has made real reforms. No one is perfect and it is a journey,” Baroness Scotland said in September.

Zimbabwe has called to be re-admitted to the Commonwealth and for the dropping of Mugabe-era sanctions by the United States and EU.

“Currently, we are undertaking all these reforms – all the painful processes that are needed and necessary – without any form of external assistance,” Minister Moyo said.

He pointed out that international support would strengthen the pace of reform in Zimbabwe and the government’s drive for reconciliation and justice.

SOURCE Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Zimbabwe.

Source: The Cision PR Wire