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MDC dismisses Chinamasa human rights report
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
October 08, 2011

The MDC dismisses the appalling report on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe that will be presented by Patrick Chinamasa at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday. Chinamasa is not a suitable candidate to make any submissions on human rights in Zimbabwe as he is one of the leading human rights abusers in the country.

In the late 1990s when Chinamasa was appointed the Minister of Justice, one of his first moves was to preside over the destruction of the judiciary system in Zimbabwe. Since then thousands of MDC and human rights activists have been arrested and brought before the courts of law facing various false charges as the judiciary system became compromised.

At the same time known Zanu PF criminals have been left scot free due to interference by Chinamasa and other Zanu PF politicians in the country's judiciary system. The MDC would like to know why there has been no progress in the arrest of known murderers of Tonderai Ndira, Better Chokururama, Godfrey Kauzani, Rwisai Nyakauru and hundreds of MDC members.

In 2002, following what Chinamasa considered a lenient conviction of three US citizens who were caught and convicted of smuggling arms in an aircraft, Zimbabwean High Court judge Fergus Blackie brought successful charges against Chinamasa for a conviction of contempt of court.

Chinamasa had Blackie immediately arrested on charges of "corruption," on the grounds of having decided the case of a white woman improperly (on the basis of an alleged adulterous relationship and racist bias), and without the support of the other judge who was sitting with him on the matter.

At the end of the trial, Chinamasa declared various non governmental organisations (NGOs) illegal and closed them leaving thousands of people including children in the country to starve.

Chinamasa is an illegal beneficiary of multiple farms following his violent grabbing of farms despite calls for one man one farm. Some of these farms are; Tsukamai in Headlands and Nyamazura in Rusape.

In his periodic report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, on Monday, Chinamasa will do nothing but misrepresent facts on the pathetic human rights situation in Zimbabwe to the world.

In his report Chinamasa claims Zimbabwe has made progress in improving its human rights situation, citing treaties and international instruments signed and ratified by the government such as the Convention Against the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

However, the Zanu PF report does not explain why Zimbabwe has not ratified outstanding human rights treaties such as the UN Convention Against Torture, Cruel or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and International Convention for the Protection of all persons Against Enforced Disappearances.

Further Zimbabwe has not ratified protocols such as the Convention Against the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As Chinamasa would be reading his Zanu PF report, the MDC has in 2011 alone, recorded that 335 MDC and human rights activists have been arrested by Zanu PF supporters or state security agents. This translates to more than one arrest per day. Thousands others have been harassed and intimidated across the country. The army is patrolling in the villagers harassing innocent villagers.

Chinamasa claims that Zimbabwe's Constitution guarantees freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment; that there is a police complaints desk at every police station in Zimbabwe and that the country has incorporated the rights to a fair trial and access to justice in the legal system.

On the ground, we have reports from Mbare in Harare, where MDC activists and members have been arrested making reports to the police after being assaulted by Zanu PF thugs. MDC members continue to be remanded in custody on trumpe-up charges. On Friday, 7 October, the MDC Youth Assembly chairperson, Solomon Madzore was remanded in custody on false charges of murdering a police officer in May. A total of 27 members have been arrested on the same allegations.

In August this year, Chinamasa caused the premature end to the debate on the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) Amendment Bill in the Senate when he lied to the legislators that the matter was being negotiated as part of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

As the MDC, we dismiss with the contempt it deserves attempts by Chinamasa and Zanu PF to claim that the report to be tabled in Geneva on Monday is a government report. As part of the inclusive government, the MDC ministers were never consulted about the report which glosses over the real situation of what is happening in Zimbabwe.

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