Tighten screws on Mugabe, Obama told

2013-06-24 11:18
Barack Obama (File, AP)

Barack Obama (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – President Barack Obama should tighten screws on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's administration in order to force the regime to implement reforms ahead of polls, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said, according to Daily News.

Dewa Mavhinga, HRW’s Africa senior researcher told the US Congress last week that despite the implementation of a modicum of reforms in Zimbabwe, the political landscape remained hazardous and should be fine-tuned before the holding of this year’s watershed polls.

"During my visit to Zimbabwe last month, people told me of their great fear that the coming elections might just be another cycle of political violence because little had changed on the ground to build their confidence that they can vote freely," Mavhinga told the committee.

HRW's stance resonates with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which on June 15, called upon Mugabe and his coalition partners, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube to work on implementing  security sector and media reforms before holding make-or-break elections.

With disagreements escalating in the four-year-old coalition over poll dates, Mavhinga called on the US to exert pressure on Mugabe through Sadc to create an environment conducive for holding credible elections.

"We call on the Obama administration to work closely with SADC and urgently take steps to: ensure the political neutrality of the security forces, namely by investigating and prosecuting alleged abuses by security force personnel and publicly directing the leadership of the security forces to carry out their responsibilities in a professional and impartial manner, and appropriately punishing or prosecuting those who fail to do so," said Mavhinga.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections sometime this year to end a unity government formed in 2009 following disputed elections in the previous year.

Read more on:    hrw  |  sadc  |  robert mugabe  |  welshman ncube  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections 2013  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.