- Last Updated on 07 December 2012
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As the world counts down to celebrating International Human Rights Day which is commemorated annually (December 10), Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS) held a peaceful procession in the streets of Harare, to express their discontent with the country's, human rights violations and limited freedom of expression.
The theme for the march was "Towards a non-violent Zimbabwe. € More than 5000 participants marched carrying placards with messages such as "Rights delayed are rights denied €, "My vote should count. Respect it € and "Free the Media! Give us a voice! €
Representatives from different civil society organisations including Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Heal Zimbabwe Trust gave solidarity messages. The Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Thokozani Khupe was the Guest of Honour while Hon Eric Taurai Matinenga, Hon. Deputy Minister of Gender and community development Jessie Majome and Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Hon. Nelson Chamisa graced the occasion.
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Khupe, told the gathering that people should raise alarm whenever their rights are violated. She urged Zimbabweans to respect all fundamental rights. Hon Khupe added that Zimbabwe cannot claim to be a human rights respecting country when people's rights are violated with impunity.
"At the height of various human rights violations in the country, Zimbabweans must embrace tolerance of divergent political views and peaceful co-existence, € said Khupe.
Zimrights also took the opportunity to honour 11 provincial human rights defenders who have braved multiple threats, unwarranted arrests, torture and intimidation to advance the rights of Zimbabweans.
"As ZIMRIGHTS we realised that most of these HRD's efforts and work tend to go unnoticed hence the awards are our humble contribution in honouring and appreciating their efforts. We believe that rewarding them will go a long way in motivating all human rights defenders to remain steadfast in their work and realise that their work is indeed appreciated, € said ZIMRIGHTS Director Mr Okay Machisa.