8 December 2016
   
INTERVIEW: Joice Mujuru on vote rigging
RBZ to release $7mn bond notes this week
Min: Bank queues none of Bob’s biz
Mliswa to Chombo: Why not arrest Moyo?
MDC-T MP: Cut Bob’s bill to pay war vets
MPs roast Chombo over Mphoko impunity
Mugabe boasts over AU, SADC chairmanship
'Wrestler' boy trips mate to his death
MORE NEWS
Innscor to concludes Zambia units sell
Business mum amid economic carnage
MORE BUSINESS
Love, mbira music and UK visa fight
Zim Achievers SA honours Peter Ndlovu
MORE SHOWBIZ
Watch: Chisora hurls table at opponent
Gutu leaves Caps Utd, returns to Sweden
MORE SPORTS
How 'bad' bond notes drive out US dollar
Zim's population too small to woo investors
MORE OPINION
 
Seewell Mashizha: Africa’s interests
Coalition: People, the true grand factor
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Zimbabwe rights chief quits in protest
28/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Incapacitated ... Human Rights Commission
 
RELATED STORIES
ZLHR: Bolster rights panel ahead of polls
Activist arrested in police swoop

ZIMBABWE Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) chief Reginald Austin resigned his position Friday citing the commission’s lack of independence, among several other reasons.

In his resignation letter, Austin also accused government of abandoning the rights body without a proper legal framework and adequate resources.

“The critical reason for my resignation is the legal framework, in particular Section 12 of the ZHRC Act, and Part XVIIIB of the Electoral Act, within which the ZHRC is expected, now and in the future, to carry out its mandate to ‘promote and protect human rights’ in Zimbabwe.

“As a National Human Rights Institution, the Commission must be independent and properly capacitated to comply with the international standards set by the Paris Principles for its credibility and recognition to participate as a peer in the international human rights community,” Austin said.

“An immediate legal problem was that Constitutional Amendment 19, creating the Commission, failed to provide for its independence.”

The rights panel was formed in 2009, but it only gained constitutional status this year when President Robert Mugabe signed a bill spelling its scope of operation after almost three years of haggling between Zanu PF and the MDC.

But the bill’s passage was mired in controversy as activists protested a clause that precludes the commission from investigating human rights breaches that occurred before the bloody 2008 run-off vote.

Hundreds of MDC supporters were killed by alleged Zanu PF functionaries.

Activists, especially from Matabeleland, were particularly enraged by the fact that the panel will not be able to investigate the killing of more than 20, 000 people by Mugabe’s North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade during the Gukurahundi epoch.

The body can only probe violations that happened after its members took the oath of office in February 2009.

Austin, a law professor, said the commission was barely equipped to carry out its duties, adding that government had virtually left them in the lurch with “no budget, no accommodation, no mobility, no staff and no implementing act or corporate legal status.”



Advertisement


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark
 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker