ACDP Member of Parliament, Cheryllyn Dudley, today expressed alarm at events taking place in Harare, where six people are dead, many wounded, and hundreds arrested in a violent military crackdown against unarmed civilians.
Internet access and telephone communications have been curtailed, amid protests against drastic fuel price rises and a hard line response by the military.
“The ACDP had high hopes that 2019 would see a turnaround in Zimbabwe - we are therefore extremely disappointed and disturbed by current events”, Dudley says.
Reports say there is a widespread military operation in the high density townships of Harare where soldiers are beating people, going door-to-door and dragging people out of their homes. People have been shot and have been prevented from getting to hospital.
The protests are action against the unavailability of cash in the country and no fuel with resultant commodity shortages, and radical price rises in fuel. The Zimbabwean President is presently in Russia seeking loans to refloat the country.
Dudley said that, “The use of live ammunition and violence against unarmed civilians is deplorable. We grieve with the families of the six Zimbabweans who have died and are praying for the wounded and detained for participating in what was meant to be a peaceful protest.
“The ACDP is particularly alarmed at the curtailing of communication and the shutting down of social media platforms, and calls on the South African Government, the SADC and the AU to urgently apply diplomatic pressure on the Zimbabwean Government to ensure communications are restored.
“South Africa cannot afford to let this situation escalate, not only for the sake of our neighbors, but for the sake of South Africans who will be negatively impacted. Peace in Southern Africa is essential for economic growth and development.
“The ACDP is calling on all stakeholders to prioritise peace, reconciliation and nation building. We also call on the Zimbabwean Government to urgently implement necessary measures to ensure a speedy transformation within institutions such as the police and military.”
ISSUED BY: CHERYLLYN DUDLEY MP
16 January 2019