Ziyambi Ziyambi

We have made strides on human rights: Ziyambi

JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday said the government has made major strides in implementing human rights reforms.

Ziyambi told the Daily News the government would tomorrow in Geneva, Switzerland, table the reforms embarked on so far at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group meeting.

“We are on the right track and as Zimbabwe we take our responsibility under our laws and international law to respect and protect human rights. We have been aligning most of our laws to take into account provisions of Chapter 4 of our constitution on fundamental human rights and ensuring that our laws speak to the need to uphold and protect these rights,” Ziyambi.

“We are up to date in terms of our reporting procedures to the international human rights treaty organisation and this week we will be presenting our Universal Periodic review report at the Human Rights Council UPR session here in Geneva.

“I will be able to respond to questions raised and articulate what we have done as a government so far. We have made a lot of advances in terms of gender equity with the recent extension of the women’s quota and the 30 percent women representation case in point.”

He said the government has aligned laws to the country’s constitution.

 “All appointments to commissions are now given to gender parity issues. As regards children’s rights, we came up with the new Education Act and we have a Child Justice Bill going before parliament soon.

“The president (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has the presidential input scheme as a social assistance programme for our communal farmers to ensure the right to food is realised. On the political front, we have made several reforms to our electoral laws over the years, we have repealed AIPPA and POSA. We are opening up the airwaves to have community radios. So these among others are the issues we will present at the review meeting on Wednesday.”

However, this comes as there are growing concerns over the rising reports of intra and inter-party violence countrywide with opposition parties blaming the law enforcement agents for allegedly protecting ruling party hooligans.

Critics, including civil society organisations, said they are going to tell the world that Zimbabwe is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of human rights abuses.