MDC Statement On World Human Rights Day {Full Text}

Zimbabwe’s Human Rights under Siege.

The MDC joins the family of nations in celebrating the International Human Rights Day albeit in the face of gross rights abuses at the hands of an illegitimate regime.

The regime does not only pays lip service to the laudable principles enunciated in our Constitution and International Human Rights Instruments but is, in fact, the biggest culprit in the abuse fundamental human rights which it has a duty and obligation to promote and protect.

It is unfortunate that after the excesses of the racist regime, the people of Zimbabwe did not get any respite from the Zanu PF regime after independence as it perpetuated the abuses and it is regrettable that in spite of the pretence and misrepresentation that we are in a new dispensation we are actually worse off as previously we had a police state and now the military has been roped in to maintain the regime’s grip on power.

As a Party, we are perplexed by the failure to implement the provisions of Section 210 which entails the enactment of an Act to establish an independent complaints mechanism and it has taken more than six years to come up with such simple legislation.

It simply shows the lack of political will and commitment and this manifests itself in the way that police and soldiers have been used as instruments similar to the Nazi and apartheid regimes.

Freedom to demonstrate and present petitions is enshrined Section 59 of our Constitution and it is, in fact, one of the reasons that our gallant fighters went to war for and some paid the ultimate price.

To make matters worse and contrary to the pontification that we are on a reform trajectory the regime has passed into law the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) which is worse than the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The MDC further note the abuse of policing state agents that have been turned into agents of terror. The police force has not been transformed into service and instead of implementing the provisions of the law, they continue to muzzle the people’s rights.

What is even more disturbing is the fact that instead of promoting the observance of human rights it is the government which is responsible for the maiming and brutalization of the ordinary citizens as well as political opponents such as the Movement for Democratic Change.

We call upon the Zanu PF regime to reflect on its conduct on this important day and begin the journey to a paradigm shift whereby the Rights of the people are not only respected but Zimbabweans begin to have comfort in the law enforcement agencies which have been abused for more than half a century by successive regimes.

The MDC has always been very clear that appropriate legislation to complete the alignment process is a sine qua non for the full realisation of the fundamental rights enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution and in this regard we are working on an alternative Legislative Agenda. Under an MDC government, all international human rights instruments and the provisions of our constitution would not only be fully implemented but complemented by appropriate laws and practices.

The MDC continues to fight for a free, democratic space that is anchored on respect for human rights for all.

Innocent Gonese
MDC Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs


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