[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Zim/UNDP human rights scam rejected
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri Oct 6 12:45:05 BST 2006
Following a successful march by students, led by members of the Zimbabwe
National Students Union (Zinasu), in Harare City Centre yesterday, 4
October 2006, the Zinasu President, Promise Mkwananzi, was arrested and
detained by security details at the University of Zimbabwe late last
night. Early this morning, Mr. Harrison Nkomo, a member of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), was deployed to secure his release. Mr.
Mkwananzi had already been released, but the Zinasu Treasurer, Mr.
Samuel Mangoma, was taken into custody at Avondale Police Station. Mr.
Nkomo has proceeded to the police station, and we shall keep you updated
on all developments.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
Statement on the eve of the UNDP, Civil Society and Government of
Zimbabwe consultative meeting on the proposed National Human Rights
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, including other civic organisations were
invited to the above-mentioned meeting to discuss the Government of
Zimbabwe's(GoZ)intention to establish a National Human Rights Commission
(NHRC) in Kariba from September 21 to 24, 2006.
For several reasons that border on sincerity on both the government of
Zimbabwe and the UNDP, the Coalition has declined to take the invitation.
Whilst the Coalition values the process of dialogue as a critical
element of socio-political and economic transformation, the proposed
Kariba meeting's content and environment do not justify the people's
participation. It does not add value to the welfare of the people of
The paragraphs below state the Coalition's view of the Zimbabwean
situation and display the government's non-commitment to uphold and set
a governance framework that celebrates human rights.
The Coalition's View
It is the Coalition's view that the crisis in Zimbabwe is a crisis of
governance and the illegitimacy of the Zanu PF government.
On the governance aspect, the set of laws and political culture that are
used by the GoZ do not enhance the effectiveness of a HRC. Laws such as
the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the NGO Bill clearly show that the
GoZ is not serious about the issue of human
rights, let alone an effective human rights commission.
On the Police service, the world bears testimony to the current victims
of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) leaders that were seriously
tortured in Police custody at Matapi Police Station in Mbare on the 13th
of September 2006.
Testimony of the GoZ's non-commitment to human rights
• The government cannot deceive people of a "commitment" to Human Rights
while it leads the race on organised torture against its
citizens and recently the ZCTU leadership.
• The government has ignored and in general terms dismissed the
United Nations report on Operation Murambatsvina/ Restore Order and its
recommendations on human rights.
• The government has failed, if not refused to implement various
recommendations by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
(2002) which recommended that:
"the POSA and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act should
be amended to meet international standards for freedom of expression"
"the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) appeared to operate under political
instructions and without accountability to the ZRP structures" and that
the Government had to "avoid any further politicisation of the police
"the youth militia camps be closed down"
"the government had failed to chart a path that signalled a commitment
to the rule of law" and recommended that, "the independency of the
judiciary should be assured and that court orders should be obeyed"
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition would continue to seek a peaceful
resolution of the crisis of governance nagging Zimbabwe. A National
Human Rights Commission only becomes key and sufficient within an
environment that supports fundamental freedoms and human rights.
In the meantime, we will continue to give solidarity with government's
victims from Labour, the Women's movement and the Students Union whilst
the government pontificates and accelerate their publicity stunts as the
country gets within 18 months to the 2008 Presidential Election.
It is our strong observation that the crisis in Zimbabwe needs serious
commitment on the part of both the government and non-state actors. We
remain committed to working with the government on issues and programs
that bring value to the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe, rather than
public relation stunts by the political actors. The African Union, the
Commonwealth to which ZANU PF pulled out without the authority of
Zimbabweans, the United Nations and the Zimbabwe Constitutional
Commission Report (1999) clearly highlight various issues that the
people of Zimbabwe want addressed.
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