The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has requested the African Union (AU) to intervene in Zimbabwe’s ongoing political crisis, which has been exacerbated by a struggling economy and national restrictions.
NUMSA, which held protests outside the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, accused the authorities in Harare of randomly arresting activists and opposition politicians during a crackdown. The incident has reportedly seen the violation of human rights in the neighbouring country.
The Western Cape’s NUMSA Provincial Secretary, Vuyo Lufele said the union stands with the people of Zimbabwe in calling for freedom of speech and association in that country.
According to Lufele, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa should accept the fact that there are other political parties in the country who hold different views, which should be accommodated. He called on the AU to urge Mnangagwa “to free all political prisoners arrested during the current political impasse.”
In addition, Mnangagwa should be investigated for violating Zimbabweans’ human rights in terms of international law, Lufele urged the AU during the protests.
On its part, the South African government has, in the past month, sent two separate delegations to Harare in order to assist in the crisis between the government and the opposition. However, on both occasions, the South African delegations did not publicly inform the nation of the outcome of their talks with Mnangagwa. At the same time, they had failed to meet with that country’s opposition.
Mnangagwa insists there is no crisis in his country.