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Human Rights NGO Forum Statement On The 42nd Independence Anniversary | Full Text

1 year ago
Mon, 18 Apr 2022 10:15:35 GMT
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Human Rights NGO Forum Statement On The 42nd Independence Anniversary | Full Text

Full statement by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) marking the 42nd Independence Day anniversary.

Zimbabwe commemorates its independence from white colonial rule on 18 April yearly.

The ushering in of independence marked the start of a nation grounded on respect for human rights and values of mutual respect and dignity.

Today, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) joins the rest of the country in saluting heroes, living and departed, of the liberation struggle whilst lamenting the deplorable oppression, and abuse of human rights that is now the order of the day.

Section 3 (1) (c) (g) and (i) of the Constitution states that Zimbabwe is founded on, among others, the respect of fundamental human rights and freedoms, gender equality and recognition and respect for the liberation struggle.

This dovetails with the theme of this year’s independence celebrations, “Zim@42- Leaving no one and no place behind.”

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However, the current socio-economic situation does not auger with the theme and indeed the Constitution.

For the past 42 years, the gap between the rich and the poor has been growing, to the extent of diminishing this year’s theme without reasonable doubt.

The gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Corruption at the highest level of society has allegedly been rampant.

Manipulation of currencies and inconsistencies in economic policies by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has widened inequalities among citizens.

The collapsing economy, caused by currency distortions, has seen the prices of basic commodities going beyond the reach of many, mostly poorly paid, citizens, government workers included.

Many are struggling to access essential staple food, clean water, electricity, and health services.

Selective application of the law especially favouring the ruling elite and cartels connected to them has indeed left behind many citizens.

Grand corruption involving national resources has been left unchecked while ruling party functionaries have been left to violate the law with impunity.

The independence celebrations also come when disturbing developments are taking place in the country.

These include the closure of civic space and continuous abuse of human rights, particularly the opposition supporters and human rights defenders.

It is worrying that the government has taken a preoccupation with crafting laws to close civic space, taking the country decades back.

The Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill, the proposed Patriotic Bill, and the Cyber Security Act, among others, are not laws fit for an independent country that has seen the worst form of repression from the colonial government using similar laws.

The Forum acknowledges that true independence is when all the people of Zimbabwe are truly free, and their rights and freedoms are respected and protected.

It is regrettable that the true meaning of independence has lost value to many Zimbabweans because of the worsening economic situation in the country and the ever-rising political tensions in betrayal of the fundamental rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by Chapter 4 of our Constitution.

The Forum, therefore, urges the government of Zimbabwe to;

(i) address the economic challenges faced by Zimbabweans;

(ii) respect the values that the brave sons and daughters who took up arms fought for;

(iii) commit to uniting citizens and fulfilling their desire for freedom, justice, and equality;

(iv) commit to the values of democracy, good, transparent, and accountable governance.

(v) allow for an enabling environment and open civic space.

More: Pindula News



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