ZHRC to educate citizens on rights, freedoms

Source: ZHRC to educate citizens on rights, freedoms – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2016

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) will from today embark on a countrywide outreach programme to educate people on their rights and freedoms.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

ZHRC chairperson Elasto Mugwadi said the outreach would begin at Mucheke Hall in Masvingo today.
He said the programme was being supported by other rights groups such as ZimRights, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, as well as Doctors for Human Rights.

“We are trying to get out to the grassroots intending to bring awareness to people of their constitutional entitlements, which are civil, socio-economic, political, and environmental rights, as well as how people can contact the commission should they be aggrieved, or if someone has violated their rights,” Mugwadi said.

“Zimbabweans are more concerned about socio-economic rights like rights to food, clean potable water, health, and children’s education where they are required to pay levies. They need to know that these rights are justifiable in our Constitution.”

Mugwadi said people should know that wherever there was food distribution, it must be done fairly and in a non-partisan manner.

“If it happens that some people are denied their rights to food in a partisan manner, they should alert the ZHRC so that we in turn alert the authorities,” he said.

Mugwadi said the outreach would also give an opportunity for ZHRC to explain the right to peaceful demonstration, freedom of assembly and association, as well as rights to political participation.

The outreach programmes will end in Bindura in July and will cover areas such as Chiredzi, Bulawayo, Kezi, Matopo, Mutoko, Chegutu, Gokwe, Kariba, Chimanimani and Binga.

Meanwhile, ZimRights has condemned the attack by State security agents on Partson Dzamara at the National Sports Stadium where he was holding a peaceful solo demonstration over the disappearance of his brother Itai.

The rights non-governmental organisation said this would further damage Zimbabwe’s human rights record.

“ZimRights finds such behaviour by security agents unconscionable to an unarmed citizen, and a flagrant violation of the Constitution, which in section 53 prohibits such cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

“ZimRights is worried in general terms at the growing and prevalent attacks, arrests, interrogations and detentions of peaceful protesters, including an artiste, Silvanos Mudzvova, who was recently roughed up into police custody at Parliament, as he prepared to stage a solo play over the unaccounted for $15 billion of diamond revenue,” they said in a statement.

Heal Zimbabwe Trust said the attack on Dzamara would fuel doubt over government’s commitment to respect, tolerate and promote human rights.

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