Friday 18 November 2022


ZIMBABWE Human Rights Association (ZimRights) says it has noted that democratic space was shrinking under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and that ‘nothing has really changed’ since the November 2017 coup that toppled long-time ruler, the late President Robert Mugabe.

This was revealed at a ZimRights commemorations on Thursday running under the theme: ‘30 years of Grassroots Organising-Celebrating Community Leadership in Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Human Rights in Zimbabwe.’

ZimRights national director, Dzikamai Bere expressed concern over an increase in state sponsored human rights violations.

“The use of violence and intimidation against the people is scaring people who want to exercise their rights to protest. We have seen a legacy of police brutality against protesters. And because of that, it makes people think twice before they exercise their rights to protest. We have also seen misinformation and disinformation particularly from state security apparatus peddling the propaganda that protesting is unlawful and yet it is a constitutionally guaranteed right,” Bere said.

Bere accused authorities of failing to take any tangible steps to demonstrate a commitment to accountability, justice for human rights abuses as well as respect for the rule of law.

“That question explains the tragedy of the country where we are measuring mal-performance instead of us competing for excellence. Our leadership is competing for bad things. This feels like a continuation of the same regime because we continue to see the same state apparatus being deployed against citizens,” he said.

However, Bere said Zimrights also launched a booklet on human rights to promote citizen engagement in governance and human rights-related issues in the country.

“So what we have been doing as ZimRights is providing the information to communities. We launched the guide to democracy and elections, which is a citizen guide to effective participation to democratic processes. It explains what democracy is.”

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and deputy Information minister Kindness Paradza did not respond to questions sent to them on Bere’s claims. Newsday



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