• Press Release

Zimbabwe: Post-Mugabe government must open new chapter of respect for rights

November 21, 2017

Zimbabweans watch a television broadcasting an address by President Robert Mugabe at Harare Sports Club in Harare on November 19, 2017, following a meeting with army chiefs who have seized power in Zimbabwe.. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in a much-expected TV address, stressed he was still in power after his authoritarian 37-year reign was rocked by a military takeover. Many Zimbabweans expected Mugabe to resign after the army seized power last week. But Mugabe delivered his speech alongside the uniformed generals who were behind the military intervention. In his address, Mugabe made no reference to the clamour for him to resign. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Responding to the news that Robert Mugabe has resigned as President of Zimbabwe, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International said the following:

“After more than three decades of violent repression, the way forward for the country is to renounce the abuses of the past and transition into a new era where the rule of law is respected and those who are responsible for injustices are held to account.

“During 37 years of President Mugabe’s leadership, tens of thousands of people were tortured, forcibly disappeared or killed. President Mugabe condoned human rights violations, defended criminal actions of his officials and allowed a culture of impunity for grotesque crimes to thrive.

“Although Zimbabwe invested heavily in social services in the early years of independence, much of this progress was wiped out by later events such as the Operation Murambatsvina forced evictions campaign of 2005, which destroyed the homes or livelihoods of 700,000 people.

“The people of Zimbabwe deserve better. The next generation of leaders must commit itself to upholding the constitution, living up to Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations and treating its people with dignity and justice.”


Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 after the country gained independence from the United Kingdom.

He officially became the President of Zimbabwe in 1987 and he has ruled the country unchallenged since then.