Input to Human Rights bill

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has tasked the civic society to undertake a massive grass root consultation program that will inform the Human rights bill when tabled in parliament next month.

“Through your input the commission, if instituted, must be empowered to investigate, and adjudicate allegations of human rights abuses. It must be able to formulate and implement tangible remedies where human rights abuses have been found,” said Tsvangirai.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa last week said the human rights bill, which he was unilaterally drafting, was not going to have powers to investigate human rights violations which were committed prior to the formation of the inclusive government.

“This commission, when operational, will not have powers to investigate alleged human rights violations that happened before the enactment of the amendment number 19, unless such violations have continued after the amendment,” Chinamasa told journalists in Harare last week.

Reacting to Chinamasa’s statements MDC-T deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo said her party was going to fight for the total rejection of Chinamasa’s unilaterally proposed human rights bill when the parliament re-opened. “People should remember that Chinamasa, as a senior member of Zanu (PF), has skeletons to deal with. He was also, to a certain extent, allegedly involved in this particular level of violations; so are some of his party senior officials. So it will be difficult and unreasonable for him to usher in parliament a bill that incriminates him, said Khumalo.

Made up of eight members the Human Rights Commission, which was sworn in in March, is chaired by Professor Reg Austin, a lawyer, former Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Zimbabwe.

Post published in: Politics

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