The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of freedom of association and peaceful assembly, Mr Nyaletsossi Clément Voule, is expected in the country later this month following an invitation by Government to assess, among other things, the legal framework that governs the constitutionally guaranteed rights.
He will lead a five-member delegation of independent experts on a ten-day expedition beginning September 17.
During his visit, the UN top official is expected to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Government Ministers, independent commissions and civil society.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said Government welcomes the visit as it will allow the international community to see first-hand the reforms that authorities are undertaking.
He said authorities will also use the rapporteur’s visit to expose contrived human rights abuse claims.
“I am told the rapporteur is coming, we do not have any problem with that as we do not have anything to hide. We are a peaceful nation.
“We are having issues of stage-managed abductions, just like what used to happen during the early stages of the land reform programme in the 2000s,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“These people set up safe houses where they fake abductions. They then ship these people outside the country to tarnish our image.
“I think this is what is happening. These are pre-planned abductions by the opposition and their supporters, which has nothing to do with Government.”
It is believed that the MDC, working in cahoots with some foreign governments and non-governmental organisations, has been fomenting anarchy by engaging in unsanctioned demonstrations and peddling false claims of human rights abuses, including abductions.
Responding to questions from The Sunday Mail, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) officer in the special procedures branch, Ms María Vivar Aguire said the rapporteur will release preliminary findings of the visit on September 27.
“The scope of work of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association is in conformity with the resolutions that have been issued by the Human Rights Council,” she said.
The resolutions include assessing legal frameworks that guarantee the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, as well as procedural and practical measures for holding peaceful assemblies.
She said the rapporteur will also look at political campaigns and party financing, including the possible impact of counter-terrorism.