Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
THE peaceful transition in Zimbabwe has inspired hope and the new administration is committed to upholding constitutionalism and observing international treaties, the UN Human Rights Council has been told.
In his speech at the ongoing 37th Session of the Human Rights Council High Level Segment in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the country continues to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights.
“The peaceful transition, which was occasioned by the resignation of the former President and subsequent constitutional succession process, has inspired hope and engendered a fresh impetus in our people. We continue to consolidate and deepen constitutionalism in Zimbabwe, including the holding of elections every five years,” Minister Ziyambi told the council.
“To that end, we are going to have elections this year, which the President has pledged to be free, fair and credible. In this regard, an invitation has been extended to the international community to observe the elections.”
Minister Ziyambi said further to the efforts made to secure the economic livelihood of the people of Zimbabwe, the Government continues to strive towards the fulfilment of its obligations under international law with a view to enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights.
“Mr President, the Government, together with various United Nations Agencies, is currently working on a joint programme on ‘Consolidation of Human Rights and Justice Delivery for Enhanced Voice Participation.’ The expected result of the programme is increased participation in democratic processes in line with the provisions of the Constitution and relevant international norms and standards,” he said.
Minister Ziyambi said the programme aims at, inter alia, enabling, improving and expanding justice and human rights capacities for the provision of quality services and upholding the rule of law.
“Further to this, we are committed to abiding by our international treaty obligations. To this end, a number of State party reports, which are due for submission to the various Treaty Bodies, are being finalised. Concrete measures to align Zimbabwe’s domestic laws with international human rights instruments that it is a party to, are also being undertaken,” he said.
The Justice Minister said Zimbabwe is committed to relentlessly pursuing the implementation of its national priorities, initiatives and commitments, especially the national process of healing and reconciliation.
“Recently, His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa signed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill into law, which we are optimistic will ensure a people-centred peace, truth, justice and reconciliation process, “he said.
Minister Ziyambi said the country continues to implement the economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), which is aimed at promoting equitable development and prosperity for all Zimbabweans through the leveraging of the country’s own resources.
“It further seeks to ensure that there is sustainable growth and development of the economy by, among other things, engendering unity of purpose among the different stakeholders. We are desirous of securing economic success and prosperity for all the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Our special model of agriculture will sustain the country’s food security going forward. Since 2017, the country now has surplus food, as exemplified by the fact that last season nearly 3 million metric tonnes of our staple food was produced against the national consumption requirement of 1.5million metric tonnes per year”.
In his introductory remarks, Minister Ziyambi congratulated Mr Ojislav Šuc, on his election as President of the Human Rights Council.
He said Zimbabwe’s participation at this 37th Session is a clear testament of the country’s profound commitment to the promotion of human rights in the country.
President Mnangagwa participated in the High Level Segment of the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council in March 2016 and in March 2017 for the adoption of the country’s second cycle Universal Periodic Report in his previous capacity as overseer of human rights issues. He was then Vice-President also in charge of the justice ministry.