Zimbabwe tries to mislead UN on human rights issues
BY PATIENCE NYANGOVE
ZIMBABWE will present a report to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) that completely ignores alleged human rights violations by state institutions, a draft report obtained by The Standard has revealed.
The report drafted by an inter-ministerial committee led by the ministry of Justice will be tabled at the 12th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland in October.
It does not mention the alleged torture, killings, intimidation and incarceration of political activists, which have been exposed in several court cases.
Instead the report claims that Zimbabwe is a champion of freedom of expression and freedom of association.
On the contrary, police continue to restrict opposition rallies while artists have been thrown into jails for being too critical of President Robert Mugabe.
The draft also claims that all vulnerable members of society are given monthly stipends.
“Harmonised cash transfers to vulnerable households also ensure that persons with disabilities receive a monthly allowance to enable them to purchase basic commodities, pay bills and rentals,” the report claims.
It also claims that government pays examination fees for all Grade VII candidates.
“Other strategies to promote the right to education are payment of examination fees for all Grade VII examination candidates by government,” the report added.
Obert Gutu, the Deputy Minister of Justice admitted that the report did not portray the true picture of the human rights situation in the country.
“The report is rather glossy and it fails to accurately portray the true human rights situation in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“However, the national drafting inter-ministerial committee has since been tasked to prepare a more accurate and authentic report about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe which shall be presented at the Human Rights Council.”
Zimbabwe Law Society executive secretary Edward Mapara said they noted certain omissions in the draft which they have since pointed out to government
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