"Keep pushing the agenda and demanding implementation"

South Africa - Human Rights Institute for Southern Africa (HURISA),    Advocacy and Information Officer, Mr Sipho Gideon Manthula told a visiting four women delegation who were on a three day solidarity mission to South Africa from 14 to17 May 2013, to continue pushing the human rights agenda and implementation of human rights instruments.


"Issues of foreign policy, women rights, conflict and human rights are lagging. As human rights groups we need to push these issues at these forums. The discussion of economic development and empowerment in Africa should include human rights issues. We should see how we can push the agenda and demand implementation of these instruments, € said Manthula.


Manthula added that Zimbabwe has ratified legal human rights protocols and instruments therefore cannot get away with human rights violations. He also urged the delegation to document the human rights violations and disseminate for the world to see.

(Mr Sipho Gideon Manthula (second from the left) with the visiting delegation)

Chairperson of the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), Virginia Muwanigwa acknowledged the progress made by the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe. She implored the solidarity partners to continue supporting them in their quest to hold peaceful, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe


"We acknowledge the progress that Zimbabwe has made including the completion of the constitution making process, € said Muwanigwa who also noted that:

"However we are not confident that all the positive rhetoric coming from political parties on violence and the state preparedness for elections will  come to fruition because of the key indicators on the ground   including challenges in the mobile voter registration process, election resources and citizen participation, € said Muwanigwa.


Muwanigwa pointed out that the tragedy in Zimbabwe is sometimes not the absence of legal instruments but lack of sincerity and political will of the Government to implement.

"Our appeal to our counterparts in the region is not to tire and also leverage the opportunities of the new constitution in aiding the voices in Zimbabwe, € said Muwanigwa


The Director of The Women's Trust, Memory Zonde Kachambwa concurred adding that what the delegation were asking for is amplification of CSOs voices during the upcoming elections specifically giving prominence to issues of gender in accordance with the provisions for electoral reforms outlined in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)'s protocol on Gender and Development.


"Yes the issues of  Zimbabwe   have been going on for a long time but it's an issue that still deserves support and if Zimbabwe's regresses the impact will also be felt in the region. € said Kachambwa.


Ms Gloria Chishambwa for Zimbabwe Young Women Network for Peace Building (ZWNP) noted that there was a need for the deployment of observers' pre and post elections to reduce the possibilities of violence outbreaks and some irregularities.


Mr Manthula from Hurisa committed that as solidarity partners and activists in South Africa they will push to be included as observers during the upcoming elections and he revealed that they were also currently pushing for the increase in numbers of the observers.

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