THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Human Rights Day which is being held under the theme, “20 Years Working for Your Rights” in celebration of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action. The Human Rights Day itself since its inception in 1950 is in celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1945.
We urge the government of Zimbabwe to continue consciously striving towards establishing a functional human rights framework and sustainable human rights culture in the country in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We draw the government’s attention to valuing covenants and treaties that support this document, mapping clear benchmarks and guidelines towards the attainment of political, civil, cultural and socio-economic rights.
The government of Zimbabwe must sign, ratify and domesticate such covenants as the Convention Against Torture as well as domesticate international instruments that Zimbabwe is party to. We applaud the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to deal with the ratification and domestication of many pending treaties and agreements, and we call for political will and support to be invested in the critical process.
The Coalition is proud that this year’s occasion of the International Human Rights Day comes when Zimbabwe has adopted a new Constitution with an expansive Bill of Rights, but is concerned about the slow rate in aligning old laws with the new Charter as that impacts negatively on the gains made through the document.
We also call upon the government of Zimbabwe to operationalize the Commissions that were set-up to promote human rights such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, and others provided for in the Constitution such as the Gender Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission as they are critical to the framework of human rights promotion and protection in the country.
The Coalition continues to regard with disapproval any human rights abuses through acts of commission such as demolitions of poor people’s settlements, partisan distribution of humanitarian support such as food aid and agricultural inputs, crackdowns on protests and harassment of human rights defenders.
We equally remain concerned of disregard of human rights through acts of omission such as the failure to provide for constitutionally guaranteed rights such as clean and safe water, education, housing, employment, food, and adequate health care.
The government must adequately compensate the communities that have been displaced for developmental purposes, as failure to do so constitutes serious violation of human rights.
The Coalition views the reform of institutions that have been captive to the ruling party such as the security forces, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and judiciary as central to the establishment and sustainability of a governance culture that is favorable to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
Lastly, we urge the government to also adhere to the rulings on human rights violation cases of international jurisdictions such as the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and must not be seen to be in antagonism with institutions that seek justice for the victims of gross human rights elsewhere on the content such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Issued by: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
1. Thabani Nyoni, Spokesperson, Mobile: +263 772 779 880 /+263 712 642 932,
2. Joy Mabenge, Acting Executive Director, Mobile: +27 11 838 9642,