Kasukuwere Demands the Release of all Political Prisoners
26 July 2023
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By A Correspondent- Exiled independent presidential candidate Saviour Kasukuwere has  demanded that the Zanu-PF government must release all political prisoners, and pledged  to act on the issue  if elected into office on August 23.

Kasukuwere made the pledge when launching his election manifesto on Monday. He became the first presidential candidate to make the pledge ahead of next month’s polls.

Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe did not need draconian laws such as the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act also known as the Patriot Act.

The former Zanu-PF commissar also said the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) Amendment Bill needed to be kept  away from the country’s statutes.

“I Saviour Kasukuwere pledge to you on being elected by the voter as President to pay immediate attention to the following; halting proceedings on the PVOs Bill and Patriot Act, reforming Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and fighting corruption.

“Expediting the reforming of the State enterprises and government institutions.”

Mnangagwa recently signed into law the “Patriot Act”, which has been condemned as one of the most draconian and unconstitutional laws in the land.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa  recently signed into law the “Patriot Act”,

According to the Act, convicted Zimbabweans face severe penalties such as death and revocation of citizenship.

Zimbabweans can be punished for simply meeting agents of hostile foreign governments.

The PVOs Bill, passed by the Senate in February, is awaiting Mnangagwa’s assent.

Once signed into law, government will be equipped with wide-ranging powers to interfere in the operations of civil society organisations.

In February, United Nations experts pleaded with Mnangagwa to reject the Bill.

Critics, human rights groups and the opposition say the Bill will severely restrict civic space and the right to freedom of association in the country.

Mnangagwa has, however, said he would not hesitate to sign the Bill into law once it lands on his desk.

The exiled former Cabinet minister said his manifesto was anchored on the vision of a functional, peaceful and prosperous nation.

“It’s time to reconcile and put our past differences aside and embrace one another while acknowledging our failures and repairing the damage that our acts of omission and commission have caused.

“The Gukurahundi question requires permanent resolution, and a peaceful closure, as with other past conflicts in our history,” Kasukuwere said.

“I dream of a functional country at peace with itself, where a social contract bridges the trust deficit between the government and its citizens.

“Our country needs a capable, accountable, transparent and responsible leadership which implements the vision of the Zimbabwe we want. It’s time to renew the country’s leadership, enshrine a new national vision with aspirations to restore Zimbabwe’s glory.”

Reflecting on Kasukuwere’s manifesto, political commentator Romeo Chasara said: “The success of his campaign will depend on the practicality of implementing these ambitious proposals and gaining support from key stakeholders.”