Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has signed a power-sharing agreement with the leaders of the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara. The agreement will pave way for the creation of a unity government to end the Zimbabwean crisis that started in 2000. Full details of the deal have not yet been made public.
Amnesty International has said that the validity of the deal would be seriously compromised if it includes amnesties or pardons that prevent human rights violators being brought to justice, the emergence of the truth and full reparation to victims.
“Nothing should be agreed that would prevent the full emergence of the truth – and those responsible for the gross human rights violations that took place must be brought to justice,” said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s expert on Zimbabwe who recently returned from speaking to victims of state-sponsored violence in the country.
“The victims of human rights violations are demanding justice for the crimes they have suffered – and they deserve no less than that. It will be a great betrayal of these victims if national, regional and international leaders were to support pre-trial amnesties for perpetrators of human rights violations.”
Simeon Mawanza added that Zimbabwe has clear obligations under international law and that the country must not fail to fulfil those obligations, particularly in this critical point in their history.
“Any durable solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe must have the respect and protection of human rights at its foundation,” Mawanza said.