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Chamisa's youths fight for the Mugabes, want IOC to expel Kirsty Coventry

by Staff reporter
12 Jun 2020 at 07:45hrs | Views
MDC Alliance youths have implored the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to expel Sports minister Kirsty Coventry from the organisation over her alleged farm grab.

Coventry, who was elected chairperson of the Athletes Commission in 2018, has been taken to court after her alleged violent land grab involving a property belonging to former President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Robert Zhuwao.

The main opposition party argues that the 36-year-old Olympian-turned-politician's involvement in a government that has a tainted record of human rights abuses, makes her complicit and thus the IOC should revoke her membership.

MDC Alliance youth chairperson Obey Sithole wrote to IOC president Thomas Bach yesterday citing a number of issues against Coventry.

"This letter is penned concerned by the continued involvement of IOC member and minister in Zimbabwe Kirsty Coventry, in a violent dictatorship that has been publicly linked to numerous abductions, human rights violations and other abuses in Zimbabwe," part of Sithole's letter read.

"We are deeply concerned about the official position on human rights taken by the IOC in which Coventry has become an integral part of a brutal dictatorship regime that has plundered the country into economic abyss on the backdrop of a violent clampdown on dissent through assault, abduction, torture and rape.

Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association has expressed shock at the use of rape and sexual assault by military and police in Zimbabwe. We have documented abuses that have taken place under Coventry's stewardship as a member of the brutal Zimbabwean government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa."

Sithole went on to list the abduction and torture of three MDC Alliance activists Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova last month by alledged State agents, the January 2019 shooting and killing of 19 people by State security agents and the assaulting of demonstrating citizens.

The MDC Alliance youth leader highlighted the abduction and torture of satirist Samantha Kureya, popularly known as Gonyeti, under Coventry's watch as minister responsible for the arts sector.

Coventry, who has seven Olympic medals in her cabinet, is accused of ignoring pleas for her to act on the clampdown on arts and media personnel.

Sithole also detailed the involvement of Coventry in land grab as one of the reasons she should be expelled from the IOC.

"On June 5, Coventry was cited in court papers as being central to the illegal expropriation of land and enforced eviction of Zhuwawo, as part of the State's ongoing land invasion policy which began in 2000 under the late Robert Mugabe.

To date, the land invasion policy without due process has left hundreds dead, thousands homeless and has been criticised by international organisations, including the Human Right Watch and the governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Coventry's glorious Olympic legacy now includes forced evictions, systematic use of assault, abduction, torture and rape to silence critics which violates international treaties including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women."

After listing Coventry's alleged transgressions, Sithole then implored the IOC to get rid of Africa's most decorated Olympian from its committees.

"In light of these developments we urge the IOC, the IOC advisory committee on human rights and the IOC ethics committee to take the following steps: Revoke the status of Coventry as an IOC member due to her participation in the continued brutalisation and abuse of the Zimbabwean people and the widespread human rights abuses carried out by the government to which Coventry is an essential component. Revoke the status of Coventry as an IOC member due to her ongoing enforced eviction and illegal expropriation of land in Zimbabwe which violates basic human and international rights. Examine the extent to which IOC member Coventry has been complicit in the participation in human rights violations in Zimbabwe."

Source - newsday