The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has sent a warning to Zimbabwe, saying that the southern African nation is entering a period of mass atrocities.
The Museum addressed two scenarios that could lead to a period of mass atrocities; the ZANU-PF infighting and the government clamp down on protests.
Although President Mugabe looks increasingly frail with each passing day, he has refused to step down or outrightly name his successor. Rather he has allowed the burgeoning infighting in the ruling ZANU-Pf to continue.
The infighting is caused by rivalry between two factions; the G-40 and the Lacoste. The former reportedly has the support of First Lady Grace Mugabe and Minister Jonathan Moyo, who support the First Lady to take over.
The other faction, Lacoste are in support of the Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from President Mugabe, this faction also has the backing of the War Veterans.
President Mugabe’s frailty has caused the disagreements between both sects to escalate.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Centre for the Prevention of Genocide said in an “early warning” report released this month that the factional disagreements could lead to open violence.
The second scenario is hinged on the clamp down on protests such as the #This Flag movement as well as the Tajamuka movement by the government.
“Today there is a potential risk of new mass atrocities in Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe, the country’s president, nears death and planned elections in 2018 approach,” the Report said.
It added: “We recommend diplomatic engagement with and by regional leaders to communicate that the use of atrocities will not be accepted as a path to power.”
The report also acknowledges that mass atrocities are indeed rare even the countries that are highly predisposed to experiencing them. Nonetheless, it warns that Zimbabwe is currently walking down the path.