JUNE 26 has been declared the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by the United Nations General Assembly.
This day was institutionalised in the hope that there would be a world free from torture or other cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment inflicted on fellow human beings.
Torture is defined in the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) (link) as severe pain or suffering, physical or mental, inflicted on a person by or with the sanction of a public official, in order to obtain information from the person, or to get the person to confess, or to intimidate the person, or for a reason based on discrimination, or for any other similar reason.
The CAT Convention
Torture is repulsive, stripping victims of their dignity and humanity. To mark its abhorrence of torture the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the CAT Convention in 1984, and to date:171 out of 193 member States of the United Nations have adopted the Convention, and 93 have adopted its Optional Protocol which provides enforcement measures to detect and prevent torture.
Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that have not yet taken steps to adopt the Convention and its Protocol.
This is despite Parliament having resolved in 2001 that the government should adopt them, and despite ministerial statements that Zimbabwe would adopt them.
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This is also despite section 53 of our Constitution, outlawing torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Zimbabwe must accede to the CAT Convention
For years, Veritas has urged the government to live up to its pledges and accede to the CAT Convention and its Protocol, and to take effective steps to prevent torture in Zimbabwe.
This year, on June 26, Veritas took the additional step of petitioning Parliament, calling on the august House to pass a resolution that the government should:
ltake all necessary steps for Zimbabwe to become party to the CAT Convention and its Protocol, and
lenact legislation comprehensively and effectively outlawing torture as required by the Convention and Protocol.
Veritas annexed a model Bill to the petition, to facilitate the enactment of the necessary legislation. The model Bill can be accessed on the Veritas website.
By acceding to the CAT Convention we will show our nation’s commitment to respecting human rights and show that there is real change under the new dispensation.
Veritas calls on all Members of Parliament, whatever their affiliation, to support the resolution we have requested Parliament to pass. Abolishing torture is not a partisan issue — it will demonstrate our country’s commitment to international law.
Accordingly, Veritas calls on all members of the public to lobby their Members of Parliament to support our resolution.
Now is the time for us all to take a stand: we must outlaw torture now.Veritas
Africa must eradicate poverty, build shared prosperity
AFRICA must be determined to eradicate poverty and build shared prosperity through social and economic transformation of the continent.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1,3 billion people across 54 African countries.
The African Union’s emphasis on accelerating human capital development on the continent is certainly not misplaced.
Human capital development is a determined effort to grow the knowledge, skills and capabilities of all the citizens in society.
These efforts have a potential to bring about wider societal benefits through social and economic development, leading to increased productivity both in the private and public sector.
Africa Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework with seven aspirations, each with its own set of goals which, if achieved, will move Africa closer to attaining its vision of a prosperous Africa by the year 2063.
The seven aspirations reflect the desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons, where the full potential of women and youths are realised and with freedom from fear, disease and want.
It is a well-established fact that poorly nourished societies struggle to build human capital, whereas human capital development thrives in well-nourished societies.
Food security is, therefore, essential to Africa’s human capital development and securing the resultant benefits of social and economic growth and development.
Food security in Africa must be prioritised.
Africa must stand in solidarity with one another in building social protection mechanisms, accelerating human social and economic development.Further Afrika
Story on Turkey trafficking regrettable
I HAVE read with regret the news article published in NewsDay on June 23, 2022, titled Dozens trafficked Zimbabweans stuck in Turkey, by Problem Masau. I would like to bring to your attention the following points:
It is regrettable that the article was penned with such an accusatory tone, yet without requesting comments from the relevant sides implicated in the piece.
Publishing an article of such severity without even a basic research gives me the impression that this article contradicts with the fundamental principles of responsible journalism.
The lucrative commercial opportunities, coupled with touristic charm of Turkey, attract millions of people from around the world.
We observe also that the number of businesspeople and tourists from Zimbabwe visiting Turkey is rising.
Turkey and Zimbabwe are two friendly countries growing ever closer by the day.
We have been observing the 40th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations this year.
Both countries have the strong political will to further develop the existing excellent relations in the field.
My Embassy and I are always ready, and would be pleased, to provide you any information we can to assist you in publishing more informative pieces to contribute to our flourishing relations.
With my best regards,His Excellency Hakan Kivanc, Turkey’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe