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HON. MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS, CDE P.A. CHINAMASA - CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE OCCASION OF THE ADOPTION OF ZIMBABWE'S UPR REPORT BY THE WORKING GROUP OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (HRC) ON 12 OCTOBER 2011
Madam President - I thank you.
It is once again a great honour and privilege to graciously appear before this august body to make concluding remarks in respect of Zimbabwe's appearance before the Working Group. May I extend Zimbabwe's gratitude to the President, the Working Group in general, the Office of the High Commissioner especially the Secretariat, the Troika and the interpreters. Our words of great appreciation go to African Group and NAM and the other delegations who made positive and constructive recommendations because they want to see Zimbabwe succeed. They are for us and not against us in our quest to promote and protect the people's interests.
We thus take note and accept all the recommendations made in good faith and for us to attain the positive desired goal in the field of human rights.
Madam President, now allow me to react, in a very balanced way, to the recommendations made.
Zimbabwe, taking cognisance of all socio-economic, scientific, cultural, technical and political developments, accepts 81 recommendations, rejects 67 and will, in the fullness of time, give due consideration to 31.
Our well considered view is that the actual UPR recommendations are less than what they seem to be numerically as a good number of them are repetitions.
Madam President, Zimbabwe wishes this Working Group to clearly note that the recommendations are in two clear and distinct categories i.e., those from the Western countries and those from Africa, NAM including Russia and China. Those from the Western Group are very paternalistic and condescending as they are made in bad faith as if Zimbabwe is a colony. They seek to teach us the so called human rights and values. This, we reject because Zimbabweans fought for human rights and we dismiss totally those who continue to pontificate and display this holier than thou attitude. They continue to thwart our efforts through various means, especially the "regime change agenda". Zimbabwe is better placed to teach them human rights.
Zimbabwe's demonization, vilification and the imposition of illegal sanctions is rooted in our desire, efforts and drive to changing the relationships between imperialists-colonizers and our right to shape the socio-economic and political destiny of our country. It is indeed most unfortunate that the current crop of political leadership in the West of former colonising powers continue to follow the imperialist footsteps of their forefathers which were to arrest, detain, mutilate our people and plunder and pillage our resources. This policy is evident throughout the former colonies where we continue to see imperialist footprints through arrested development.
What Zimbabwe expects is mutual trust, cooperation, friendship and mutually beneficial ties. For Zimbabwe, time for master - servant relationship is long gone and is committed to fully change those exploitative relationships and to reassert its rights through building positive and constructive alliances.
Read most of their recommendations - polluted with innuendo and arrogant trappings, for instance the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC) - Is the West Party to the International Criminal Court? NO! but they want us to be. These countries happen to have some of their citizens who should have long been docked at the International Criminal Court for having committed horrendous crimes against humanity. To us in Zimbabwe, it is very clear that the ICC was created to drag Africans, East Europeans, Arabs and Asians for prosecution. It is truly a kangaroo court as we now realize.
On our God given natural resources, they continue to refer to Marange diamond mining operations, which before we brought sanity, they had plundered an estimated 1000 tonnes of our precious glittering stones for 15 years before our takeover. Again, regrettably, these are the same countries that have imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe and continue to politically hold the Kimberly Certification process hostage.
They have also rejected the invitations that we extended to them to visit Marange and prove that there are no human rights violations taking place, yet they continue to oil their entire anti - Zimbabwe campaign through falsehoods and politicisation.
Secondly, Madam President, Zimbabwe rejects all omnibus recommendations not because some of the recommendations contained therein are not sound, but because there could be some elements or aspects unacceptable to us. Thus all recommendations that contain innuendos that Zimbabwe is a violator of human rights are rejected.
Madam President, Zimbabwe is fully committed to inviting Special Rapporteurs and other mandate holders - since it will grossly benefit from both technical and expert advice. Invitations were extended to some Special Rapporteurs in the past but the timing turned out to be inconvenient for them or us and therefore the
Madam President, there was too much reference to POSA and AIPPA, especially from the Western Group. These two pieces of legislation are not inventions by Zimbabwe and they are there to stay. These pieces do not violate any fundamental freedoms as long as their letter and spirit is followed.
Madam President, on Security Sector Reform, Zimbabwe will not even entertain the recommendation. Reform for who? For what? How dare they recommend that to those who fought against colonialism and all its ugliness, i.e. racism, injustices, discrimination, oppression, torture, exploitation and total dehumanization should go. Where? We will not be complacent and allow the creeping in of neo - colonialism! We know how much they respect and venerate their war veterans including reserving a day in their honour.
On the full implementation of the GPA - yes, we are fully committed. What is slowing or retarding the full implementation of the GPA is the illegal sanctions.
The GPA is clear on these illegal sanctions, SADC is clear on these. Africa is clear NAM including Russia and China are clear. It is only the West that is using overt sanctions as a weapon for regime change - not only on Zimbabwe but also on Cuba, Iran, DPRK, Syria, Myanmar, and Venezuela. There are indeed many more countries were covert Western sanctions are applied to change legitimate governments.
Secondly, the GPA can also only be fully implementable when the pirate radio stations stop their hate broadcasts over Zimbabwe's air waves. For the record, there are three major ones based in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the USA. We say lift the illegal sanctions and stop the piracy in our airwaves.
Lastly Madam President, the issue of human rights should be viewed unselectively, objectively and in an unpoliticized manner. There is too much of accepting the Western driven agenda of civil and political rights. In the case of Zimbabwe, these rights were not given to us under colonization but we fought viciously for them.
The general exclusion from the agenda of and sidelining of serious discussion, consideration and acceptance of social and economic and cultural rights is unacceptable to Zimbabwe. The right to development should be the core of the promotion and protection of the human rights agenda. Where is the moral standing of those who have imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe?
Their talk of humanitarian assistance is a mockery - we are asking about our human rights to develop freely without interference.
In conclusion, Madam President, I want to assure you that Zimbabwe will honour its commitments and obligations as far as the promotion and protection of human rights is concerned.
It must, however, be clear that Zimbabwe will not brook external interference, especially the anti - Zimbabwean people's interest. We salute all nations that wish us well. God bless.
I THANK YOU