via ZHRC seeks legal powers | The Herald October 23, 2014
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) is seeking legal powers to make binding decisions on those found guilty of violating people’s rights.
At present the commission is only mandated to make investigations and recommendations on human rights violations.
In an interview recently, ZHRC chairman Mr Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi said once the commission was empowered to make decisions with a deterrent effect, it would win public confidence.
“Ordinarily, this is an issue we would want inserted in our statutes,” said Mr Mugwadi.
“We should be empowered to issue orders, which orders will eventually be registered with the court so that they become executable . . . if they are not honoured.
“Once it becomes a court order, the offenders can then be charged with contempt of court, which is a criminal offence and we believe it has got a deterrent effect other than simply making recommendations which may not be honoured.”
ZHRC executive director Ms Helen Charewa said the commission had so far received 49 cases on human rights violations, including rights to property and shelter.
She said other cases include complaints to do with maladministrative issues, ill-treatment from the police, prisons and pension offices.