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Statement on the continued breakdown of the rule of law
Zimbawe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
October 15, 2001

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights deplores the continued breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe. All person in this country have the right to:

(a) the protection of the law
(b) life
(c) freedom from inhuman treatment and
(d) freedom of expression.

The Abuja conference notwithstanding, hardly a day passes without reports of savage and brutal assaults on farm workers and owners. Further farm invasions seem to continue with more intimidation and violence.

On the 14th October 2001, three ZANU PF Members of Parliament were captured on camera trespassing on a company’s property, under the guise of checking companies’ adherence to the Government stipulated price controls. It is our opinion that their actions were flagrantly unlawful, as were the threats they were uttering.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, on the same news bulletin, also reported that war veterans issued ultimatums to all sellers of bread that if they did not adhere to the stipulated price controls they would invade the companies. Already there have been reports that some companies have been forced to close their businesses because of actual or threatened physical and property harm.

It is shocking to note that the Government of Zimbabwe, despite its assurances that it upholds the rule of law, has not moved in to stop the illegal company and farm invasions. We are also gravely concerned that the three Members of Parliament concerned have apparently not been prosecuted or questioned for their actions.

Political violence of any nature by any political party is reprehensible and condemned in the strongest possible terms. Recent events relating to the Movement for Democratic Change are also cause for concern.

The violence currently gripping the country undermines the democratic principles that underpin the constitution of the country.

The President of Zimbabwe and other executive organs of State that fall under the Executive have on numerous occasions acted in wilful violation of the laws of the country. The President has a constitutional obligation in terms of Section 28(6) of the Constitution to take an oath of loyalty to the laws of Zimbabwe. The failure to fulfil such an oath is an impeachable offence.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights call on the Executive to uphold the laws of this country and afford all persons protection of the law as enshrined in the Constitution without any discrimination.

Visit the ZLHR fact sheet

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