19 January 2017
   
New Zimbabwe Header
Coalition seekers say parties above tribalism
NGO’s on Bikita West violence: Call off poll
Special Permit: SA min says don’t rush me
Army moves in after bloody tribal clashes
UK MP likens Scottish party to Zanu PF
Town Clerk: pay bills for Typhoid to go
Most councillors dull, stupid: Kasukuwere
ZRP bosses loot officers’ cash club
MORE NEWS
Dealer robbed of $100k gems at gun point
Diaspora bonus: RBZ warns local banks
MORE BUSINESS
SA: Zim’s urban stars to rock Durban
George Michael's death linked to drugs
MORE SHOWBIZ
Warriors official kit arrives in Gabon
FC Platinum in 2 week SA training camp
MORE SPORTS
Business lessons of State vs Econet
The emergence of a post-fact world
MORE OPINION
 
The price Zimbabwe pays for lousy govt
Ambitious Goba: Part gay but all human
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