The advocacy mission comes at a time when the country is geared for an election next year. President Robert Mugabe has already said the country will go for polls next year with or without the new constitution.
The key message of the advocacy work is broadly that 2012 is not an election year but must be a year for credible electoral reforms,” said Dewa Mavhinga Crisis is Zimbabwe regional coordinator.
Mavhinga is part of the delegation in Zimbabwe that includes Okay Machisa (Zimbabwe Human Rights Association); Mcdonald Lewanika (Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition); Irene Petras; Roselyn Hanzi and Dzimbabwe Chimbga (Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights); Elizabeth Bishop, Blessing Gorejena, Rudo Mugandani and Dzikamai Bere (Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum) and Machinda Marongwe from the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations.
Mavhinga said government’s 17-page report to the UN Human Rights Council UPR prepared by the Justice Ministry paints a picture of a country ‘desirous of promoting and upholding human rights for all despite the illegal sanctions induced challenges’.
“We seek to show that the reality is a far cry from what is contained in the government report. Different organisations will focus on their area of expertise to demonstrate the true state of human rights in Zimbabwe and to show how the country is not prepared to hold democratic elections in 2012 as President Mugabe and Zanu (PF) would want,” he said.
Two events undertaken are the Zimbabwe Side Event – panel discussion – UPR information briefing on Human Rights and Elections in Zimbabwe taking place Wednesday (tomorrow) and the ZIMRIGHTS Reflections Photo Exhibition and launch of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s Military Report and ‘A Case Against Violence’.
The report details military involvement in election violence.
Reflections is a photo exhibition detailing the gory pictures of pre-election violence.
The exhibition is set to show the world the extent to which Zanu (PF) goes in order to win votes.