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Lawyers march to parliament
in Zimbabwe Coalition
December 13, 2006
More than 200 people, largely from
the legal profession and various civic organizations, thronged the
Harare Gardens today in recognition of International Human Rights
Day under the theme ‘fighting poverty as a matter of obligation
and not charity’. The event was organized by the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
The day kicked off at the Harare Gardens
with a speech by Mr. Andrew Makoni of the ZLHR followed by planting
of the human rights tree. The procession marched down Samora Machel
proceeding to 2nd Street and into Kwameh Nkrumah where
they stopped at Parliament House and the Supreme Court.
A petition was handed to the Speaker
of Parliament who refused to accept it for unclear reasons. It was
however, accepted by the Supreme Court. The petition highlighted
the suffering of Zimbabweans and the abuse of civic and political
rights. In their petition, ZLHR cited issues affecting the public
which include, rising inflation, displacement through Operation
Murambatsvina, unavailability of ARVs, torture of Human Rights
Defenders by state agents,, draconian laws , the decline in life
expectancy and the condoning of violence by the Executive Government.
ZLHR condemned the establishment of a Human Rights Commission by
a government which abuses people’s rights.
The day was deemed successful, though
it was marred by the presence of the police who, through their large
presence at the Supreme Court, intimidated the people and instilled
fear and despondence. Members of the army looked on from the defense
house helplessly as the demonstrators danced and sang. In addition,
Assistant Inspector Mhondoro of the Police Intelligence tried to
stop the meeting because they feared that it might turn into a revolt.
Mr. Tsunga encouraged the demonstrators to remain calm and follow
the instructions of the police.
It is evident how the Zimbabwean government
continues to suffocate human rights even on Human Rights day through
using the police and refusing to accept the petition forwarded to
them. they have shown intolerance towards people of Zimbabwe by
refusing countless times to address their concerns.
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in Zimbabwe Coalition fact
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