Harare (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government on Thursday dismissed claims by opposition political activists that the country was in a “deep human rights crisis” saying this was part of a coordinated campaign to effect regime change in the country.
The comments follow an intensified smear campaign against Zimbabwe on social media under hash tags such as #ZimbabweanLivesMatter, alleging human rights abuses happening in the country.
In a statement, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Nick Mangwana said Zimbabwe remained peaceful with all citizens free to go about their usual business, but within the limitations of the lockdown regulations.
“To set the record straight, there is no crisis or implosion in Zimbabwe. Neither has there been any abduction or war on citizens. Like any other country in the world, Zimbabwe has been enforcing Covid-19 lockdown regulations intended to safeguard and protect the lives of all citizens. Where necessary the law has been fairly applied,” he said.
“The deliberate attempt to smear the country’s image is betrayed by the use of doctored images, old images, old video clips and highly exaggerated claims on social media, all intended to paint a picture of a burning Zimbabwe.”
Mangwana also rubbished claims that the government was using the Covid-19 national lockdown to “clamp down” on human rights.
“His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s second republic believes in upholding the rule of law and freedom of speech. Indeed it is this freedom of speech that is unfortunately being abused by those who seek to push a sinister political agenda.
“Government calls on its counterparts in the region and internationally not to lose perspective of the fact that Zimbabwe has for long suffered efforts to destabilise it by external forces that have a bone to chew with the country since the historic land reform programme,” he said.
“These efforts have in the past taken many forms, from attempted insurgency to the current organised smear campaign using blatantly false claims. Such smear campaigns are not unique to Zimbabwe and have been employed in other countries over the years.”