ZHRC in need of human resources

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THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has bemoaned lack of adequate human capital necessary for the body to effectively carry out its mandate of enforcing preservation of human rights and democracy in the country.

BY TALENT GUMPO

Commission secretary, Makanatsa Makonese said staff shortages had negatively affected their operations.

“The major resource constraint we have as a commission is the issue of human resources. We have a very big mandate and are supposed to cover the whole country but we do not have enough people within the commission to be able to do that work,” she said.

“We have only seven investigators to go around the whole country it is almost impossible, so whilst we intend to make sure that we deliver for the citizens of Zimbabwe, it is practically impossible because we do not have the people to do the work.”

She said the move worsened by the government move to freeze recruitment at public enterprises as part of measures to manage the public service wage bill.
Makonese said the commission only had two offices in the country.

“The office in Bulawayo covers five southern provinces, Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo and the Harare office serves the five provinces in the northern parts of the country which include Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Harare Province, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central,” she said.

She said the commission was using the reactive approach as opposed to the preventive approach which was effective during election time.

“We try to respond as quickly as we can to address complaints as soon as we get them, but it would have been better if we could reach all areas before violence or injustice occurs as a preventive measure. The preventive approach can only work if we are able to reach everyone to educate people on their rights and how not to violate other people’s rights. But now, that information is not reaching citizens, we are then forced to react when things get out of control.”

Makonese, however urged Zimbabweans to take heed of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for peace and tolerance in the run-up to this year’s polls.