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Solidarity statement for ZIYON's ''Know your rights campaign''
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
November 11, 2010
rights are not gifts given at the pleasure of governments, nor should
governments withhold them or apply them to some people but not to
others. Governments must be held accountable for promoting and protecting
the human rights of all persons''
62 years after the universally acceptable definition
of the human rights standards and norms to govern humanity were
adopted by the UN General assembly in December 1948, these rights
have remained either contested or elusive in our context as Zimbabwe
and the African continent as a whole. The UDHR is a non negotiable
obligation for all the UN member states as to safeguard the essence
of the human rights principle that ''every individual
regardless of age, birth, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin,
familial status, gender, language, mental status, political or other
opinion, public assistance, race religion or belief, sex or sexual
orientation, deserves to be honored, esteemed and respected.
The hallmark principle of human rights is that they
are inalienable, indivisible and interdependent; no right is of
greater significance than the other as some have argued that land
is the most basic and important right in our context.
As succinctly put by the former president of Ghana
John Agyekum Kufuor, Africa needs a new breed of leaders who will
defy the precedence of being remembered by history for their notoriety,
disregard for human rights, good governance but rather want to be
part of the forward match towards the establishment of a better
life for their people by using the expertise gained over the years
for the good of their people.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are under a historical
dawn of a coalition government brought about by the need to transform
from a dark past legacy of violence-sponsored and organized, rampant
abuse of rights of innocent men, women and children into a society
that upholds the rule of law, equality of all, observance of human
rights and broadly the existence of sustainable peace. Cognizant
of the fact that there has been relative progress towards efforts
to maintain peace, it is still regrettable that the coalition government
has de-prioritized critical issues of justice, reforming of the
state arms and government systems, structures to ensure the observance
of human rights and existence of sustainable peace.
There is still a long way to go in addressing the
apparent loop holes at the government level on policy and implementation
stage to assume a cross cutting standard of respecting, building
a culture and management style that upholds human rights and human
dignity. To mention but a few, ladies and gentlemen, the right to
vote freely, elect leaders of choice and participate in political
processes remains a pipeline dream, oppression remains a systematic
weapon by certain political parties to deny social and economic
liberties, freedom of expressions and association is yet to be achieved,
media waves remain closed, heavily politicized to maintain a stranglehold
on power against the people's wishes, there is no equitable
distribution of state resources, brutality by security forces continues
unabated, selective application of the law is still rampant, culture
of impunity surges on, while undermining of the rule of law has
Noting the inadequacy of our current situation in
achieving the desired standards and norms of an ideal society, ROHR
Zimbabwe pledges its support to seeing a peaceful, just and free
nation that is conscious of and respects human rights. We are honored
to be part of significant priorities for the betterment of humanity
such as the one which has gathered us today through the noble efforts
and visionary leadership by one of the leading youth coalition organizations
in Zimbabwe ZIYON.
We support their timely effort during this critical
defining moment of transformation to ignite a revolution to raise
awareness, conscientise and educate the youths about human rights
and to popularize the need for a human rights culture at all times
starting with this generation and the ones to come.We applaud the
maiden resolve in our history by ZIYON to set aside 30 days of countdown
to popularize each of the 30 basic human rights defined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) starting with today until 10
December when the entire world comes together to celebrate the International
human rights day.
We would like to partner with the youths in securing
the future and laying the right seeds by taking charge of it today.
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