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‘Govt has no treaty record’

Chinamasa made the remarks when he appeared before the Misheck Marava-chaired Senate Thematic Committee on Human Rights while apprising senators on Zimbabwe’s compliance with domesticating international treaties.

“Ideally, we should keep a proper record that captures all treaties we have signed and those we have ratified or not,” Chinamasa said. “The register should be with the ministry of Foreign Affairs that conducts international relations for us. Unfortunately, we don’t have that register.”

Chinamasa told the committee that his ministry was tasked with compiling that register and expects to complete it in the near future.

Zimbabwe has signed but has not ratified the African Charter on Children’s Rights, Convention on Elimination of Discrimination and Abuse against Women and the Convention against Torture, among others.

Chinamasa told the committee that his ministry had engaged a consultant to study each of the signed instruments and recommend how the country could domesticate them.

Zimbabwe committed itself to implementing 130 of the 177 United Nations Human Rights Council recommendations last week after presenting its Human Rights report in Geneva for 2011.

Among the recommendations is democratisation of the political field, opening up of the media, putting a stop to political persecution and outlawing of torture while in custody.    

Chinamsa’s inability to produce a list of treaties and conventions which Zimbabwe has signed and ratified exposed government’s incompetence and failure to safely keep important and accurate administrative documents and records.

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