Activists Express Concern at the Human Rights Situation in Zimbabwe

By Prince Njagu
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) on Thursday came under scrutiny from activists that they are not doing their jobs as a watchdog of human rights in the country.
This comes after an increase in the spate of human rights abuses in the country.

Speaking at a workshop hosted by Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA) on the Universal Periodic Review Training in the capital, activists accused ZHRC of not playing its watchdog role as a human rights defender in the country.
“How can you talk of UPR at such a time when they are cases of human rights violation in the country?
“As of recent we have two issues which are making the headlines in the media; one of occupy Africa Unity Square activists Itai Dzamara and the bludgeoning of Jim Kunaka,” said Paddington Japajapa.

The training workshop was to educate members of the public and civil society on Universal Periodic Review and how they push responsible authorities to adopt internationally accepted human rights laws.
Chatsama indicated that Zimbabwe carried out a consultative stakeholder’s validation process in June 2011 which was followed by the adaptation of the report in March 2012.
“UPR is about revising human rights actions which involves sharing of the best human rights practices around the globe,” said University of Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies Dr Musiiwa

Responding to allegations raised by activists Law Officer in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Yvonne Chatsama defended the state of the legal framework in the country and acknowledged that the government was implementing suggestions which were drawn from last year’s UPR submission by the government.

Musiiwa emphasized on the fact that UPR submissions were not a time to point fingers at each other by it is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 United Nations member states and everyone had to put an input since everyone is affected.

The training workshop on the Universal Periodic Review was themed, “Involving CSOs, Media and Grassroots in National Human Rights issues.”

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A jilted Gweru taxi driver allegedly ripped open his long-time girl’s stomach , gouged out her eyes with a screwdriver and strangled her before attempting to commit suicide by drinking poison.

The gruesome murder, which has left residents of the Midlands capital shell-shocked, occurred on Wednesday 12 November2014 at 3pm in Mkoba village 17.
It is said the distraught taxi driver only identified as Charles, allegedly stabbed and ripped open the stomach of his estranged girlfriend, Fadzai Chipfunde with a kitchen knife then plucked out her eyes with a screwdriver before striking her on the head with a brick.

Charles, who was had been intoxicated, attempted to take his own life by downing a poisonous substance. Luckily, Charles was then rushed to Gweru Provincial Hospital by fellow tenants, who had to break down the door, where he is currently fighting for his life.

Fadzai’s body remained in the room for over 24hours before being retrieved by police and relatives. When journalists arrived at the house, shocked residents were gathered outside trying to come to terms with the gruesome murder occurred. The aunt of the deceased, Precious Mudavanhu, said that Charles had gone to her niece’s place where the two had an altercation.

“Fadzai was alone at home when Charles visited her in the afternoon. The two had an argument resulting in Charles dragging her into the spare bedroom where he butchered her before taking the poisonous substance.

“I was told my niece had been murdered and I rushed home from college”, she said. A fellow tenant who refused to be named said that Fadzai and Charles had a misunderstanding after she ditched him. Charles is said to have come in a drunken stupor, dragged her into one of the rooms locked the door and started assaulting her and after killing her drank poison.

“It looks like the murder was premeditated because he had brought a poisonous substance which he took after committing the crime. He soiled himself before he started bleeding through all openings. People had to break down the door to gain entry before taking him to the hospital”, said another tenant

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