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situation worsening as Africa celebrates Human Rights Day
Muthulisi Mathuthu, SW Radio Africa
October 21, 2013
Human Rights Day on Monday, but according to a leading human rights
organization Zimbabweans had little to celebrate as democracy continues
to be undermined.
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) fingered the ‘state and
non state actors’ in continued ‘flagrant violations’
of citizens’ fundamental rights under the ‘successor
government to the coalition administration’.
was the Zimbabwe Republic Police who are referred to as ‘overzealous’
as they ‘act with impunity’ banning trade union activities
even against court orders for them to stop doing so.
also lamented ‘arbitrary arrests, detention, prosecution and
persecution of human rights defenders and ordinary citizens, including
harmless mothers and children’.
The ZLHR added
that ‘national healing processes have failed to materialise
or to contribute meaningfully to rebuilding the shattered lives
of those who have suffered grave violations throughout history’.
director Irene Petras told SW Radio Africa that there were still
‘a lot of challenges’ to be tackled despite the ‘absence
of brazen violence’.
The ZLHR statement
said it was unacceptable that the majority of Zimbabweans remain
unemployed or informally employed and were unable to afford basic
necessities in a country endowed with natural resources. Also condemned
were ‘slave wages’, ‘grinding poverty’ and
‘shallow promises of empowerment and indigenisation programmes.’
ZLHR noted with
‘deep concern’ the fact that the government continues
to ignore ‘with impunity’ the African Union’s
recommendations, such the Diasporans’ right to vote in national
added that it is a ‘scandal’ that the victims of Operation
Murambatsvina are still without shelter eight years on as the
government contravened ‘clear recommendations’ by both
the AU and the UN to ensure otherwise.
ZLHR said instead
of ‘criminalising free speech and access to diverse information
and free assembly’ the government should speed up reforms
and ensure the country’s laws comply with the new constitution.
statement follows recent reports that ZLHR had recorded ‘70
cases’ of people arrested for denigrating Mugabe’s name.
Also the statement comes after the UK-based Zimbabwe Vigil organisation
announced that one of its members recently in Zimbabwe reported
an increase in ‘hustling’, police bribery and poverty.
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