by Dumisani O. Nkomo
Habakkuk Trust, a Christian advocacy organization that exists to influence the biblical transformation of communities is deeply and gravely concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
Critically, our mandate as Habakkuk Trust is espoused in Proverbs 31:8 “speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves”. In this regard, we collectively note the following injustices and violations which took place prior to and after 31 July 2020, with great concern.
1.Abductions of citizens such as Othilia Sibanda, Tawanda Muchehiwa, and Takunda Madzana all residents of Bulawayo.
2. The torture, cruel, and inhuman treatment these three were subjected to in violation of section 53 of the Zimbabwe Constitution which protects citizens from torture and inhuman treatment.
3. These actions have resulted in dozens of citizens fleeing their homes in fear of their lives.
4.Though section 59 of the Zimbabwean Constitution enshrines the right to demonstrate peacefully, over forty people have been arrested for exercising this constitutional right.
As we celebrate Heroes Day this month, we are deeply concerned that the rights that our gallant heroes and heroines fought and died for have been flagrantly violated. Rights such as:
1.The right to personal security (section 52)
2. Freedom of assembly and association (section 58)
3. Freedom of expression (section 61)
These rights have been significantly violated in a brutal assault on civil liberties.
We urge the government of Zimbabwe to respect the International Convention for the Protection of All Citizens From Enforced Disappearances. This convention defines enforced disappearance as ” the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation by agents of the state or by persons acting with the authorization of the state …”
Habakkuk Trust, therefore:
1. Appeals to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to immediately investigate all violations of the constitution and in particular, cases of abductions and torture.
2. Calls on the government of Zimbabwe to respect and uphold the Constitution.
3. Is urging the government of Zimbabwe to address the root causes of the demonstrations such as poverty, hunger, the collapse of the health delivery system and corruption
4. Calls on the government to engage in meaningful, credible dialogue with stakeholders including political parties, churches, and civil society in order to address the national question including current and historical issues such as Gukurahundi, the economic and governance crisis.
#Zimbabwean Lives Matter