BY MOSES MATENGA
ZIMBABWE has been plagued by an increase in human rights abuses in the last two years and the deteriorating situation has become a source of concern, Law Society of Zimbabwe president Thandaza Masiye-Moyo has said.
Speaking at the Walter Kamba Rule of Law Awards dinner last week, Masiye-Moyo called for the observance of the rule of law or “the governing and the governed will perish together as fools”.
“Without the observance of the rule of law, both the governed and the governing will together perish as fools,” he said.
“This lecture comes at a time when our country has been plagued by a number of challenges in the past two or so years. The socio-economic and political conditions have continued to be a source of anxiety and concern.”
Masiye-Moyo said the country had been gripped by violence and disturbances post-2018 elections and the situation had left the nation with scars.
“There is no denying the violence and subsequent disturbances post the 2018 harmonised election left a scar on the soul of the nation.
“Our commitment to the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights as a nation was put under test. Lives and property were needlessly lost in circumstances where the rule of law and respect for human rights were compromised,” the Law Society of Zimbabwe boss said.
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He added: “In January 2019, our country experienced widespread protests, which, in turn, invited fast-tracked criminal trials following dragnet arrests of protesters and sometimes those who happened to be in the vicinity.
“These incidents and others put to test our institutional commitment to the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.
“The Law Society of Zimbabwe issued four statements in 2019 alone, all of which were in one way or the other concerned with the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
The society has been engaging the Executive, urging them to respect the rule of law and human rights.
“Our commitment saw us engaging the Judiciary, the Executive in the form of the police and the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, among others. We shall continue to engage all stakeholders for the betterment of our citizens,” Masiye-Moyo said.
The organisation set aside a day each year to celebrate the life and deeds of the first black Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe and celebrated lawyer.
Kamba, a University of Cape Town graduate and a Master’s Degree holder from the United States’ Yale Law School, has an impeccable history in the legal field and, at some point, there was a move to name Churchill Road — which connects Second Street Extension and Enterprise and passes by one of the main gates at the University if Zimbabwe — after him.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe honoured its members who have excelled in the promotion of the rule of law and respect for human rights.