THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has admitted that it has not done enough to publicise its work, with only three cases reported from Matabeleland South province in 2017.
BY REX MPHISA
This emerged during a one-day ZHRC workshop held in the border town on Tuesday.
ZHRC chief human rights officer Karukai Ratsauka admitted that the embarrassingly low figure was an indictment on the commission.
“I think we are not well known. Or perhaps is it that people here are now more enlightened,” she said.
Ratsauka admitted that the commission had never visited Beitbridge before.
She told the participants that the commission was now reporting directly to Parliament and was no longer an arm of the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Beitbridge mayor Morgan Ncube said there was need to provide food and blankets to suspects arrested by police.
“Police no longer feed people. I have been arrested and I was not given food or blankets even though I was later found innocent,” he said.
During the same period in which Matabeleland South only reported three cases of human rights violations, Harare had 191 cases, Bulawayo 130, Mashonaland West 35, Mashonaland Central 21, Mashonaland East 37, Matabeleland North 8, Manicaland 49, Midlands 24 and Masvingo 24.
ZHRC was established and mandated through an Act of Parliament to protect, promote and enforce human rights under Section 243(1)(c) of the Constitution, which confers the responsibility on the commission to monitor, assess and ensure observance of human rights and freedoms.