By Professor Matodzi
Harare, September 21, 2015 – The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has
slammed President Robert Mugabe’s government over its poor human
rights record which worsened with the abduction of Itai Dzamara, a
prominent human campaigner in March.
The Jestina Mukoko-led ZPP on Monday rapped the government for its
appalling rights record, which it noted, had worsened despite the
adoption of a new governance charter two years ago.
“This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a time when civil,
political and socio-economic rights of citizens in Zimbabwe continue
to be trampled upon. Intolerance of political diversity, inter party
as well as intra-party physical violence, threats and discrimination
around food rights continue to occur in areas across the country.
Recent wholesale job losses of over 30 000 people following the July
17 court ruling robbed the affected and their dependents of their
socio-economic rights. Scores of people lost their homes as a result
of demolitions which took place in recent months, and more still, are
likely to fall victim to house demolitions…….Indeed the human rights
landscape of the country looks grim. Even though our Constitution
enshrines the protection of the rights of the people,
constitutionalism continues to evade the nation, reads part of a
statement issued Monday by ZPP to mark International Day of Peace.
The International Day of Peace is observed annually on 21 September to
recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict
and promote peace.
Zimbabwe adopted a new constitution during the coalition government
era of President Robert Mugabe and former Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai which provides for fundamental human rights including
economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights that are
enforceable by law.
But ZPP said state and non-state actors had continued trampling on
citizens’ rights will-nilly as evidenced by the recent wholesale job
losses which had the effect of robbing workers’ dependents of their
The human rights organisation also expressed concern over the
government’s failure to locate the whereabouts of missing human rights
campaigner Itai Dzamara, who went missing six months ago after he was
abducted by some unidentified men in Harare.
“Also of note is still the unanswered puzzle of where
journalist-cum-activist, Itai Dzamara, is. Months since his
disappearance, he is still nowhere to be found. No individual or
family should ever be made to endure this,” ZPP said.
ZPP, a human rights organisation which documents breaches of peace and
provide peace building mechanisms also called on government
authorities to bring to account, without fear or favour, perpetrators
of all human rights violations.
Local, regional and international human rights watchdogs among them,
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty
International have on several occasions voiced concern over the
southern African country’s poor human rights record marked by
uninvestigated past human rights violations and the existence of a
litany of repressive laws.
But President Mugabe’s government denies the charges and argues that
the country’s political and economic crisis is as a result of targeted
sanctions imposed by Western governments as punishment for committing
electoral fraud and human rights violations.