Takunda Maodza in GENEVA, Switzerland
Government is happy with the human rights situation in the country and is committed to supporting and implementing all instruments to that effect, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. VP Mnangagwa, who oversees the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, is in Geneva attending the Universal Periodic Review meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
He makes presentations before the UNHRC today.
Addressing a Press conference yesterday ahead of his presentation, VP Mnangagwa said the human rights situation in Zimbabwe was satisfactory.
“As Government, we are happy,” he said. “We are collaborating and supporting human rights instruments. Zimbabwe also supports and is committed to the implementation of all human rights issues and treaties under the Human Rights Commission.
“We have done a lot. We are also in the process of implementing those which we supported. So far, we have 151, which we are now going to proceed and implement and the other six we will implement partly as a result of the laws that we have in the country.
“Some of the six are partly already implemented under our legal framework back home and there is no need for reimplementation.”
Zimbabwe presented its national report on November 2 last year and received recommendations from United Nations member States and other stakeholders on human rights issues.
Out of the 260 recommendations, the country has supported 157 while 103 have not been supported.
“From the 100 deferred recommendations, the Government has now supported nine recommendations, bringing the total supported recommendations to 151, while six are supported in part, 103 recommendations have been noted,” said VP Mnangagwa.
The noted recommendations do not enjoy Government support.
“It must be noted that these recommendations were repeated by different member States,” said VP Mnangagwa. “For instance, the recommendation to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture was mentioned 33 times, whilst the recommendation to ratify the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was mentioned nine times.
“The recommendation to abolish death penalty was mentioned seven times. Some recommendations relate to lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender rights. So, while the noted recommendations are more than 100 in number, they mainly relate to six broad categories and the issues are those Zimbabwe is not in a position to support.”
The noted recommendations are mostly those that are inconsistent with Zimbabwe’s national policies and values while others have already been addressed by national laws.
Government, working with key stakeholders, will formulate a national plan of action for the implementation of the supported recommendations.
VP Mnangagwa said Government was committed to protect all its citizens and was also keen to establish what happened to Itai Dzamara, a journalist-cum opposition activist.
“We appeal to every single organisation in Zimbabwe or individuals to come forward (with information on his whereabouts),” he said. “As a result of that desire to establish what happened to Itai Dzamara, Government has put forward $10 000 as a reward for anybody who can come forward with such information.”