Zimbabwe must respect the rule of law if the country is to progress

Zimbabwe has a poor track record of lack of respect for property rights and gross violation of basic human rights. When Emmerson Mnangagwa took over in November 2017, he promised to change this and present a new image of Zimbabwe in order to attract investment and debt-relief programs.

His “open for business” mantra makes sense for some. The fact that it makes sense for some is an indication that if enough political will is invested in changing things around, Zimbabwe’s fortunes may be transformed as well.

In the aftermath of the election, we have seen the heavy-handedness of the security forces in Zimbabwe. The military has found it hard to exercise restraint, with no clear signs as to who is issuing orders for the deployment of soldiers. There have been worrying reports of soldiers terrorizing residents.

This lack of respect for human rights will drive some investors away.

Another worrying trend is the selective application of the law. Politicians from both sides of the camp have broken some laws but only those ones from the opposition are being targeted.

Everyone must be equal before the law. There must not be selective application of the law. It simply means as long as you are not powerful there is doom for you. It also breeds, fertilizes the toxic culture of impunity which is detrimental to the progress of the country.

The laws of the country must meet the bare minimums of justice and fairness. It is folly to claim the moral high ground relying on laws that are repressive. Rule of law goes beyond mere adherence to laws that are there, there must be substantive rule of law.

If Zimbabwe is able to satisfy this, our conditions may change.

Rule of law must be thoroughly respected.

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