HomePoliticsHuman rights report up for discussion in Dakar

Human rights report up for discussion in Dakar

Gift Phiri

A DAMNING report of the fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) will be discussed at the commission’s 36th Ordinary Session in Dakar, Senega

l next month.

An executive summary of the report was tabled at the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa three months ago amid loud protests by Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge who claimed Zimbabwe had not been afforded an opportunity to respond to the document.

The report provoked anger in the Zanu PF government which pledged to provide answers to the report’s accusations of human rights abuses in two weeks.

A special team of the commission led by Jainaba Johm of Gambia prepared the report after a fact-finding visit in June 2002. The team came to Zimbabwe after the Human Rights Forum sent a request to the commission in 2001.

The delegation met with opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) officials, former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Sternford Moyo, police commissioner Augustine Chihuri and civic society heads.

It also met Vice-President Joseph Msika, Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo and Information minister Jonathan Moyo. At the end of the visit, Johm said her team had accumulated 20kg of documents from evidence given by many people regarding the human rights situation in the country.

A draft agenda of the 36th session includes Zimbabwe under item 13 and delegates will discuss the draft report and decide whether to adopt it.

Although it was not possible to obtain comment from Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, government sources confirmed that cabinet authority was being sought to send a delegation to Dakar to represent Zimbabwe.

“There are plans to send a delegation comprising Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge, Information minister Jonathan Moyo and Chinamasa to put across the Zimbabwe case,” the source said.

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