Zanu-PF expresses concern over Human Rights Chief visit

In a statement, Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo, said the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Hon. Patrick Chinamasa, did the right thing by inviting her to visit the country to assess the human rights situation in Zimbabwe for herself.

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“The UNHC should be free to visit any places she wishes and should also be free to use or meet whoever she wants. Equally, Zimbabweans should support Ms Pillay’s visit and express their views freely and openly as there is nothing to hide,” the statement read.

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Gumbo further said Ms Pillay’s exploration of human rights in the country should not only focus on the usual platitudes about human rights limited to violence, freedom of speech, expression etc, the mantra of the opposition political parties and foreign sponsored NGOs, but should also look at land reclamation, indigenisation and empowerment as critical human rights issues.

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Said Gumbo: “While we welcome Ms Pillay’s visit to the country we wish to place on record our concern regarding UN organisations visiting Zimbabwe. The country has had a nasty experience of UN missions being sponsored to write negative reports about life in the country. A classic example is the mission by Dr Anna Kajumoto Tibaijuka, the former executive director of UN- Habitat who was used by some Western countries to write a damming report on the country about Murambatsvina.”

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He said the party is fully aware that some organisations, specifically foreign sponsored NGOs, will not only present themselves as the only genuine fighters for democracy and human rights, but will also seize Ms Pillay’s visit as an opportunity to character assassinate the country.

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“The truth of the matter is that Zimbabwe is a free, democratic, independent, peaceful and stable country,” said Gumbo.

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The party, Gumbo said, is worried that Ms Pillay’s visit may turn out to be a ploy to produce a report that could be used at some stage in the future as a basis for military intervention in the country, adding that “some of these UN Human rights reports were used as a pretext to intervene in Libya and now currently in Syria.”