Obert Gutu Criticises Mahere Over Her Remarks In Geneva
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) spokesperson, Obert Gutu, has criticised CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere over the remarks she made at the United Nations Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy 2023 in Switzerland on Tuesday.
Among other things, Mahere said Zimbabwe is under a dictatorship that is worse than during the late former president Robert Mugabe’s reign.
Speaking to ZBC News, Gutu said Mahere should have raised her concerns with the NPRC instead of using the United Nations Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy to air her grievances. Gutu said:
We normally want to encourage people to be mindful of what we say, where we say it, and how we say it.
It’s very unfortunate when utterances that might have the effect of disturbing peace are made here in Zimbabwe or outside the country there might have the effect of disturbing the peace because I understand from my observation that a number of people are very upset about what she said in Geneva.
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I happen to have watched the video as well and I’m saying from a peace-building perspective, those issues she raised could have been raised locally as they say the best approach is to use domestic remedies before you go out of your own house to talk about domestic issues.
As a peacebuilding institution mandated by the supreme of the land to build peace in Zimbabwe, we wouldn’t have to encourage any Zimbabwean who feels they want to have issues to discuss to be free to contact us or give us suggestions may be orally or in writing with regards to what they would want to be done about the issues or complaints that they have.
We believe that as NPRC at the end of the day peace-building affects everyone and if you say something that might have an effect of sticking emotions, which is what appears to be the case here, that would actually invite an inferno of emotions that might even lead to civil unrest in the country and it will be very unfortunate considering that we are already in elections where political emotions are running very high and one would want to believe that the whatever we do, whatever we say as Zimbabweans, political actors and non-political actors, we should always be mindful of the impact-end of effect it might have on the peacefulness of our beloved country.
Speaking in Switzerland, Mahere claimed that half of Zimbabwe’s population lives in extreme poverty while billions are being looted by the ruling elite.
She also said the conviction of Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) president Jacob Ngarivhume for incitement to public violence is a warning by the ruling elite that participating in opposition politics is punishable.
Mahere narrated her ordeal at the hands of State institutions and castigated the treatment of political opponents, prisoners, and judicial capture.
She recalled her treatment at Chikurubi Maximum Prison after her arrest on charges of undermining the authority of the police after she posted a video that had already been posted multiple times alleging that a police officer had struck dead a baby with a baton in Harare. Mahere said:
Two years ago, I woke up in an overcrowded jail cell in Zimbabwe’s Maximum Security Prison.
No water. No toilet. No underwear. No dignity. No rights.
Inmates ate watery porridge with their bare hands because spoons are not allowed.
Before lights were off, we had to line up in queues for roll call – groups A, B, C and D. D was for Dangerous.
Even though the other women there had committed crimes such as murder, armed robbery and infanticide, I alone was put in the dangerous group.
I had committed the dangerous crime of tweeting against police brutality.
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