Civil Society Meet Un Human Rights Chief

Pillay met the CSO’s at the offices of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights in central Harare after first meeting a batch of organisations believed to be aligned to Zanu (PF) at Parliament earlier on the day.

The meeting had been thrown into doubt after the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs had hijacked the organisation and groundwork for the meeting between Pillay and the CSO’s.

Abel Chikomo, the spokesperson of the CSO’s, told journalists after the meeting that they had briefed the UN chief about the obtaining human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

Police on Tuesday morning visited Chikomo’s offices enquiring about the venue of the CSO’s meeting with Pillay.

Pillay later met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at his offices.
“The Prime Minister was very firm, forthright and convinced me of his commitment towards protecting human rights and his goal also is to have successful elections,” she said. “I particularly raised with him the progress on the establishment of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. This commission is very, very important and it is needed to play a role during elections.”

Tsvangirai said he told visiting UN human rights chief that “incidents” of rights violations are still occurring in the country and must be addressed before fresh elections are held to replace the unity government.
“We raised a number of issues, we explained the situation in the country before the formation of the government of national unity, during the government of national unity, during elections and some of the human rights abuses that have taken place,” Tsvangirai said.
 “There is nothing to hide, but also to highlight that there has been progress since the formation of the GNU.”
Pillay will meet with President Robert Mugabe either Wednesday or Thursday before her trip ends on Friday after which she will issue a statement.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the media that Zimbabwe did not have rights abuses, a statement that was denied by civic society organisations.