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‘With Mugabe gone, there’s real opportunity for Zim to make fresh start’

Amnesty International says Zimbabwe can only thrive once human rights and the rule of law are guiding principles.

FILE: People wave national flags as they celebrate outside the parliament in Harare, after the resignation of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe on November 21, 2017. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - Amnesty International says Zimbabwe’s political parties and candidates will have an opportunity to break with decades of human rights violations committed while Robert Mugabe was still in power.

The human rights group says Zimbabwe can only thrive once human rights and the rule of law are guiding principles.

Elections are set for later in July.

In its latest briefing, Breaking Away from the Past, Amnesty International says with Mugabe gone, there is a real opportunity for Zimbabwe to make a fresh start.

The group makes seven recommendations for parties and candidates contesting elections this month.

These include upholding freedom of expression and association; ending rights abuses by the security forces and putting a stop to torture and disappearances.

Amnesty’s deputy director for southern Africa Muleya Mwananyanda says in a statement that elections under Mugabe were marred by disappearances, killings and arrests.

He says Zimbabweans deserve better and has called on all politicians to put human rights first.