Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Push for Mugabe to face ICC prosecution

By Lance Guma

LONDON- A former member of the European parliament has questioned why the British government is not pushing for Robert Mugabe’s prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “crimes against humanity.”

Over the years Mugabe’s regime has deployed serving and retired soldiers into non-military structures, to ensure Mugabe remains in power.
Over the years Mugabe’s regime has deployed serving and retired soldiers into non-military structures, to ensure Mugabe remains in power.

Glenys Kinnock, who was Minister of State for Africa in the last Labour government, was speaking during a parliamentary debate last week Thursday. Her argument was that crimes against humanity are defined by the United Nations (UN) as, “a widespread attack on a civilian population.”

According to Kinnock, Mugabe should be investigated and subsequently indicted by the ICC over “the Matabeleland massacres in the 1980s, continued state-sponsored violence against political opponents, and ongoing atrocities in the diamond fields in Zimbabwe,” because “there is evidence of his responsibility.”

Responding to the question the British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, David Howell said: “Zimbabwe is not a party to the Rome statute and to get an ICC charge against Mugabe would require a UN Security Council resolution. That means getting past all five of the permanent members.”

Howell said the reluctance of some permanent members especially China and Russia, “to see these matters taken up by the UN and remitted to the ICC for charges” meant people “who have committed unsavoury acts” like Mugabe were outside the reach of the ICC.

Last month former Liberian president Charles Taylor became the first African leader to be prosecuted and found guilty by the international court. A three judge panel found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity for supporting rebels who carried out atrocities in Sierra Leone. SW Radio Africa

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