By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) will this year roll out a programme to train legal officers in the Prosecutor General’s office on human rights issues and constitutionalism.
LSZ President Thandaza Masiye-Moyo announced this at the society’s Walter Kamba annual dinner and awards event in Harare.
He said recent incidences such as the 2019 violent protests had put to test prosecutors’ commitment in respecting the rule of law and constitutionalism.
“In January 2019, our country experienced widespread protests which in turn invited fast-tracked criminal trials following dragnet arrests of protesters and sometimes those who happened to be near the vicinities,” he said.
“These incidences and others put to test our institutional commitment to the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
During the disturbances and the dragnet that followed, the LSZ condemned State brutality and called for the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.
At least 17 people were killed by the armed forces in a widely condemned state response to the skirmishes.
“The Executive was exhorted to respect the rule of law and human rights and our commitment saw us engaging the judiciary, the Executive in the form of the police, the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs among others. We shall continue to engage all stakeholders for the betterment of our citizens,” said Masiye-Moyo.
“I am happy to announce that together with our partners, we will this year be rolling out training programmes for the Prosecutor General’s officers as well as the Legal Aid Directorate staff with a bias towards the respect for human rights and constitutionalism.”
“In the past, we have conducted the training of magistrates in similar areas. We also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Parliament and it is hoped that our technical assistance will go a long way in pushing forward the alignment of laws programme.”
At independence in 1980, Kamba was appointed the first black Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe where he set about to deconstruct the structures of colonialism at the country’s then only institution of higher learning.
He is remembered for his humility, astuteness, presence of mind and contribution to the growth of the academia.