NGO Forum Slates Increase In State Rights Violations

A LOCAL civic group has condemned the on-going infringement on citizens’ rights by the state which it says was in violation of both the country’s constitution and international human rights treaties.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, a grouping of more than 20 rights based groups operating in the country, said in a statement Friday it was concerned with an increase in rights violations in the past 30 days.

The group cited various cases in which authorities have moved to demolish what they claim were illegal structures built in parts of Harare and the breaking of peaceful demonstrations by citizens protesting the current decline in their living standards.

“Current human rights violations suggest a lack of commitment by the state to respect, promote, protect and fulfil human rights in accordance with the country’s constitution and international human rights treaties,” said the group.

“Some of the violations took place on 10 December, the United Nations International Human Rights Day.

“Social unrest is a symptom of unresolved conflict and persistent poverty and socio-economic pressures. The State should not repress citizens but become accountable and seek sustainable solutions. Human rights fulfilment is just, feasible and socially legitimizes governance by the State.

“The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum calls on the government of Zimbabwe to make progressive efforts towards realisation of all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe and improve people’s living conditions.”

Among some of the prominent cases cited by the group in the past 30 days was the protest by Chitungwiza commuter transport operators early this month where police moved to quell tensions between some touts and suspected Zanu PF supporters who were unhappy with the strike.

Property worth thousands of dollars was damaged and indiscriminate assaults and arrests of residents were also experienced.

Over 30 victims sustained significant injuries from the assaults and required medical intervention while 40 were arrested.

The country’s security situation remains tense amid a deteriorating economic climate blamed on poor leadership by the current Zanu PF led government.

 

The state, which has invested heavily on security, has left no stone unturned in ensuring small pockets of disgruntlement among groups of people do not spiral into a fully fledged rebellion against the government.