Uphold rule of law, govt urged

Journalist Itai Dzamara lies on the ground after he and nine other demonstrators were bashed by anti- riot police following their Occupy Africa Unity Square demonstration in Harare last November.

AS the continent celebrated Africa Day yesterday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) urged the government to adhere to the rule of law and address injustices that have been prevailing in the country.


In a statement, ZLHR said it was important for the country to repeal repressive laws and implement several recommendations by the African Union organs that were adversely affecting the country’s democratisation process.

President Robert Mugabe is the current AU chairman.

“Although there were high hopes for the improvement of political, economic and social conditions in Zimbabwe following the adoption of a new governance Charter in May 2013, constitutionalism remains elusive as duty bearers continue to violate the Constitution through acts of commission and omission with impunity, while the ordeals of human rights defenders have not subsided,” said ZLHR.

“Citizens continue to be subjected to flagrant violations of their fundamental rights by State and non-State actors.
“Arbitrary arrest, torture, abduction and detention of human rights defenders continue two years after the adoption of a new Constitution which expanded civil liberties,” added ZLHR.

The human rights defenders raised concern over the whereabouts of the abducted pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara who went missing over two months ago.

Since his disappearance, several organisations including opposition political parties and the international community have been applying pressure on the government demanding his release.

ZLHR said pieces of legislations like Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security Act should be done away with.

ZLHR said the government should quickly implement recommendations by the fact-finding mission of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights which sets out a clear action plan for fighting impunity, reducing violations and working towards strengthening of institutions to build a peaceful country.


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