ZIMBABWE Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) chairperson Jacob Mudenda has resigned from the commission following his swearing in as Speaker of the House of Assembly.
Mudenda, who was appointed chairperson of the commission in February this year following the resignation of Reg Austin, told NewsDay yesterday that he had tendered in his resignation two weeks ago.
“I resigned as the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission two weeks ago and Dr Ellen Sithole is the acting chairperson now,” said Mudenda.
In terms of the law, Mudenda had to resign from ZHRC within 21 days of assuming his parliamentary job.
He was sworn in after being nominated unopposed by his party, Zanu PF — which has two — thirds majority in the bi-cameral Parliament.
Mudenda said there was need for government to urgently provide $3 million to facilitate the smooth operation of the human rights watchdog.
“I think the most urgent thing that should be done is to provide funding for the setting up of the secretariat for the commission. We had done the profiles of the sort of people needed to form the secretariat. A total of $1,5 million is needed for the setting up of the secretariat. There is also need for another $1,5 million to renovate the building which the government bought for the commission.
It was a good thing that government bought a building for the commission.”
Mudenda said during his tenure as chairperson of the commission they had been able to meet various stakeholders including the police and civil society organisations to promote the upholding of human rights matters.
“We had struck rapport with a number of stakeholders through the meetings we were holding with them,” he said. “We were, however, yet to meet with the President’s Office.”
Mudenda said the commission had the important role of promoting awareness on human rights.