Boost for human rights defenders

Amnesty International has reiterated its commitment to campaign for the upholding of human rights in Zimbabwe, where violations are rife.

The United Kingdom-based group has announced that Zimbabwe human rights organisations would benefit from the more than £700 000 it received from its subsidiary in Switzerland.

In particular, the international human rights watchdog spoke out against the prevalence of forced evictions across the African continent.

Last week it petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 50th Ordinary Session in Banjul, Gambia citing Zimbabwe as one of the countries whose people had borne the brunt of such human rights violations.

It raised concern that more than six years after Zimbabwe embarked on mass evictions, nothing had been done to remedy the problems faced by victims of the project.

“Over the years Amnesty International has documented cases of mass forced evictions in Angola, Chad, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Governments across Africa have acted in violation of regional and international human rights standards, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. In many countries, people who have been forcibly evicted are denied access to justice and effective remedies.

The consequences of forced evictions continue to manifest years after they were carried out as communities struggle to access essential health services, water, sanitation and education. Those who are responsible for these human rights violations have still not been brought to account,” reads a petition by Amnesty.

In June 2005 the government launched Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle (Better Life), and claimed it would provide housing to those who lost homes during Operation Murambatsvina. However, very few victims of Operation Murambatsvina benefited from Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, which also failed to comply with international standards on housing.

Many were allocated small bare plots of land on which they had to build homes with no assistance, and at least 20 per cent of any houses built were earmarked for civil servants, police and soldiers.

Many of those evicted still live in deplorable conditions.

Post published in: Politics
  1. Mutetwa

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