Rule of law still lacks in Zim: civil society

In a 54 page report to outline compliance and non- compliance by the unity government in the last 6 months, Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism (CISOMM) said there have been no respect for the rule of law while draconian laws like the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) are still in place.
The report accused President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF as being complicit in failing to respect the rule of law while the army and state security institutions have been used by the party to disrupt the constitutional making process.
“There has been no improvement in respect for the rule of law. In fact, the law is being used to persecute individuals on behalf of Zanu PF, through the office of the Attorney General,” Cisomm said.
“Independence of the Bench remains a distant dream. Furthermore, there is a failure on behalf of law enforcement agencies to correctly and impartially implement judgments or law.”
“POSA is still being used by the police to curtail freedom of association, expression and movement. Unlawful arrests and detentions of human rights defenders have continued, with the intention of frightening people into silence or to cease their activities,” Cisomm said.
Civil society organizations said ‘coercion’ by Zanu PF has mainly been prevalent in rural areas where soldiers and war veterans teamed up to intimidate people to not to contribute in the constitutional making process.
“Zanu PF sponsored coercion has escalated in the rural areas in a bid to curtail the expression of opinions in the upcoming constitutional outreach. The abuses are mainly being perpetrated by soldiers, youth militias, war veterans and some village headmen,” Cisomm said.
“Political violence and intolerance resurged in advance of the constitutional making outreach. Military and quasi-military agents were deployed to threaten and intimidate citizens.”
The report said state media is still being used by Zanu PF to peddle lies and hate language as well as to be partisan to the party.
Despite the government having a monitoring body called the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), Cisomm said they had to form a parallel monitoring body as they anticipated the ‘compromises’ that will befall JOMIC.
“CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) realized the compromises that can befall this body, hence the decision to set up an independent monitoring mechanism,” Cisomm said.
JOMIC which is made up of 12 senior members of the three political parties who are signatories to the GPA. The body has failed to ensure that government implement all the reforms that were agreed in the GPA.
The unity government of Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been facing  in the last tensions weeks after the latter complained that Mugabe unilaterally appointed ambassadors and provincial governors without consulting him.
Mugabe has rubbished the accusations saying according to the constitution he is entitled to make the appointments.
Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic (MDC) have been denied to hold meetings by police several times in the past two weeks while Mugabe has been having