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‘Underfunding cripples independent commissions’

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BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA

ZIMBABWE Human Rights Commission chairperson Elasto Mugwadi has said underfunding by Treasury continues to cripple the operations of independent commissions.

Speaking at a constitutional symposium organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights (NGO) Forum in Mutare on Thursday, Mugwadi said independent commissions were expected to provide their mandatory service but underfunding affected their operations.

“Allow me to reiterate that the major challenge affecting independent commissions is inadequate funding as well as erratic disbursements of the funds by the Treasury,” Mugwadi
said.

“Such funding handicaps have the potential to cripple the operations of Chapter 12 commissions rendering them non-responsive to emerging issues relating to their mandate which require rapid response.”

The Chapter 12 commissions are the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Gender Commission, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and Zimbabwe Media Commission.

Mugwadi said Chapter 12 commissions were expected to be independent despite getting funding in line with the Paris Principles.

The Paris Principles require independent commissions to be pluralistic and inclusive in their composition and interaction with both State and non-State actors.

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