via ZHRC should recruit credible staff: Nango | The Zimbabwean 05.11.13 by Nelson Sibanda
Credible staff should be recruited for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission’s secretariat and every interested Zimbabwean should be given the opportunity to attend interviews for the posts, said director for the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe, Cephas Zinhumwe.
The ZHRC failed to operate according to its mandate since its formation in 2009 as it did not have a secretariat to receive complaints raised by offended parties.
Zinhumwe told The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview that the recent posting of 51 vacancies for the Commission’s crucial staff was commendable and progressive.
He said if the vacancies get filled it would make work of the commission easier.
“The secretariat would get into the finer details of issues raised since Commissioners will be overwhelmed with other pressing commitments,” said Zinhumwe.
Political commentator and member of Crisis Zimbabwe, Vivid Gwede, said one of the things hampering operations of the ZHRC was the absence of the secretariat.
Gwede said though the posting of vacancies for the secretariat was a welcome development, the nation was holding its breath to see if the Commission would work according to expectations.
He said there must be a political will to support the Commission, since the secretariat and other staff would only make the infrastructure which needed software to meet its mandate.
“We just hope government would not block the Commission’s intentions like what reportedly happened with the Anti-Corruption Commission,” said Gwede.
People interviewed by The Zimbabwean in this regard express mixed feeling about relevance of the Commission given the political dispensation in the country.
Monica Chirenje, a vendor in Harare said: “I wonder if the powers that be would allow the Commission space to carry out its duties without political interference.
“It would be in the best interests of Zimbabwe if the Commission was allowed to execute its duties in a non-partisan manner without fear or favor.”
Timothy Mwenga, a marketing person with a Harare based retail shop welcomed the development.
“Since Zanu (PF) wanted to spruce up its image and be accommodated by the global family, chances remain high that the Commission would operate without hindrances,” Mwenga said.
Mwenga highlighted the need for recruitment of uncompromised professionals.
The roles of the Commission would include, promoting awareness of and respect for human rights and freedoms at all levels of society, promoting the protection, development and attainment of human rights and freedoms, to monitor, assess and ensure observance of human rights and freedoms.
It would receive and consider complaints from the public and consider appropriate action, protect the public against of power and maladministration by state and public institutions among other roles.
Since Zimbabwe attained political independence in 1980, there have been public outcries that government through some of its arms, violated human rights with impunity.