Boost for rights commission

Andrew Chimedza Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission received a boost for its internal operations after the European Union and two Nordic countries donated four vehicles worth $120 000.The commission’s chairperson Mr Elaso Mugwadi said the recent donation which was made up of four Toyota Hilux double-cabs from the EU, the Danish and Norwegian governments would help to enhance the operations of the organisation.

“I am extremely delighted to receive the vehicles on behalf of the commission, the four vehicles donated by our all weather partners,” he said.

“The vehicles will undoubtedly be used productively by the commission to discharge its mandate.”

The commission which was established a few years ago still lacks adequate resources to fulfil its mandate.

“The commission has been talking about challenges for a long time, but due to this noble gesture from development partners we will be able to undertake monitoring visits to various places of detention and attending emergences without delay,” Mr Mugwadi said.

“The assistance which is being offered here is making a big difference in equipping the commission to deliver on its mandate,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, a representative of the EU and the Danish embassy Ms Singe Winding said support for the commission will promote, protect and enforce human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“We have provided operational support and technical assistance and capacity building through the establishment of peer-peer relationship with the Danish Institute of for Human Rights,” she said.

“In a difficult political and economic environment, we believe that the operationalisation of the commission and the initial results starting to show is a big and commendable achievement.”

The EU and the two Nordic countries have supported the commission since 2012. Mr Mugwadi said the commission was receiving about 30 new complains every month and was working to increase its visibility across the country.

The ZHRC was established in 2010 before the enabling act — the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act was gazetted in 2012.

According to the new Constitution, ZHRC is mandated to protect, promote, and enforce human rights in the country.