THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) yesterday expressed concern over gross human rights violations in the country, calling on authorities to respect the rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
The ZHR said recent reports of arbitrary detention, harassment, physical and verbal attacks, among other violations on opposition and civic activists, were an affront to the national and international charters on civil, human and political rights.
This comes as the country’s human rights situation has come under global spotlight following the State’s brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.
“ZHRC calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to respect, protect, promote and fulfil all the rights enshrined in the Declaration of Rights as provided for by section 44 of the Constitution,” the statutory body said in a statement.
“ZHRC calls upon the government to safeguard and advance human rights as dictated by international human rights’ law and the obligations imposed by treaties and conventions Zimbabwe is party to.”
The ZHRC is one of the five independent commissions provided for under section 232 of the Constitution to, among others, support and entrench human rights and democracy.
The ZHRC called on political actors to “desist from aiding and abetting violations of human rights through incitement and perpetration of violence”, while also urging the regional and international community to take steps to assist Zimbabweans find lasting solutions to the country’s problems.
“The regional and international community is urged to support Zimbabwe in coming up with domestic solutions to its political and socio-economic challenges and also facilitate elimination of conflict and hostility between the State and citizens,” the ZLHR added.
Government has vehemently denied reports that the country was in a crisis, and accused foreign powers of fuelling hostility among the citizenry as part of a regime change agenda.