“We are very happy with the opportunity awarded to ZESN by the Commission and we hope that this will go a long way in promoting democratic elections and enhancing the quality of elections in Zimbabwe in particular protecting the right to vote.
“We affirm ZESN’s commitment to reporting and attending the sessions of the Commission,” said the Director of ZESN, Rindai Chipfunde Vava.
Vava said observer status was granted during the Commission’s 51st Ordinary Session which was held from the 18th of April to the 2nd of May 2012 in Banjul, Gambia.
“This new status will enable ZESN together with other CSOs that already enjoy the observer status to directly interact with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights on various issues pertaining to the protection and promotion of human rights in the country.
“In addition, the status will also allow ZESN to report violations of human rights to the Commission through communications and many other mechanisms that are available. ZESN envisage that such communication and actions will assist in the prevention of human rights abuses and promotion of human rights in Zimbabwe.” Vava added.
ZESN joins 349 non-governmental organisations in Africa and twelve other civic society organisations in Zimbabwe such as the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ), Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS), Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ), Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
President Robert Mugabe insists new elections must be held this year and has threatened to name date for the ballot even before ongoing constitutional reforms are completed.
The MDC formations are pushing for the implementation of reforms they claim were agreed as part of their coalition deal with Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.