Johannesburg – The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on Thursday warned of “greater chances of escalation of social unrest and instability” if the volatility in that country was not adequately addressed.
Addressing journalists in Johannesburg, the coalition's regional coordinator - Blessing Vava - said while there was a national outcry over the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe, there was also an apparent attempt by the state to silence dissenting voices through arbitrary arrests, beatings, abductions and threatening civil society leaders and unionists.
“There are arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture and enforced disappearances and fast-tracked trials and convictions. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has handled over 800 such cases and accused persons are not enjoying the right to fair trial as prescribed by the law," said Vava.
"Despite calls for a national dialogue by the president (Emmerson Mnangagwa), false accusations and charges continue to be labelled against civil society leaders and labour. There is clear insincerity on calls to engage in a dialogue.
An environment conducive to dialogue was needed, he said, which would entail the immediate release of political prisoners who were facing "trumped up charges".