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Govt urged to rein in state security as Zim records 77 cases of political violence in three months

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By Staff Reporter


GOVERNMENT has been urged to rein in the state security sector and to conduct investigations into alleged violations of human rights.

The recommendation by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (ZHR NGO Forum) follows revelations of gross human rights abuse in the organisation’s first quarter report on political violence.

In a report assessing the period between January and March, ZHR NGO Forum said there were a total of 77 recorded cases of violence.

The majority of these cases, 28, were recorded under arbitrary arrest or detention.

 These include the arrest of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members, including legislators Amos Chibaya and Costa Machingauta in January 2023 on allegations of violating public order regulations by attending an unsanctioned meeting at a private residence in Budiriro, Harare. 

The human rights observers said there were 22 cases of assault and torture while the period under review also saw 20 violations against journalists.

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As part of recommendations, the ZHR NGO Forum urged the government to respect, promote and protect fundamental human rights.

The human rights observers also called on the government to launch immediate investigations into the allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by members of the police and take appropriate action.

“The Forum recommends the government of Zimbabwe, to urgently take steps towards fulfilling its obligations arising out of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to respect, promote and protect fundamental human rights and show this commitment to fulfil these obligations by; Ratifying the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and its Optional Protocol; ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,” ZHR NGO Forum said. 

The watch dogs added: “Ensuring the protection and promotion of and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular attention being accorded to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (the UDHRD) which accords specific protections to human rights defenders; paying due regard to international best practice.”

According to the report’s recommendations, the government of Zimbabwe must, in all circumstances, abide by the duties and responsibilities of states in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which place obligations on States to protect, promote and implement all human rights.

The reports also recommended that the government adopt legislative, administrative and other steps as may be necessary to ensure effective implementation of rights and freedoms and to provide an effective remedy for persons who claim to have been victims of a human rights violation and to conduct prompt and impartial investigations of alleged violations of human rights.