Government of Zimbabwe to observe rule of law and respect the constitution and conventions

Government of Zimbabwe to observe rule of law and respect the constitution and conventions

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Solomon Ndondo started this petition to Government of ZImbabwe

RE: PETITION TO REQUEST FOR THE RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CONSTITUTION BY GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND STATE INSTITUTIONS.

We, the undersigned, call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to urgently order for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Zimbabwe who include but not limited to human rights defenders, political activists, journalists, trade union officials and express our strongest condemnation of the wide spread use of torture in prisons and police cells. We are deeply worried about the whereabouts and well-being of hundreds missing and unaccounted for Zimbabweans such as Itai Dzamara. Prisons in Zimbabwe are full of people detained for simply expressing their desire for freedom and often arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for innocent and peaceful acts such as carrying out a peaceful demonstration, practicing investigative journalism, calling for an end to corruption, petitioning, and distributing leaflets. Zimbabweans are regularly imprisoned over unclear or unspecified charges, and even their families are not informed of their whereabouts. Released prisoners report of having been subjected to beatings, threats, inhumane treatment and being deprived of food and drink.

There has been a deliberate violation of the constitution of Zimbabwe and other regional and international conventions of which Zimbabwe is part of by state institutions mainly security services and the judiciary. Violated sections of the constitution and conventions include but are not limited to the following:
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS: CHAPTER 4 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE with following sections:
44 Duty to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms
45 Application
The Declaration of Rights is binding and applies to everyone including natural and juristic persons, the State, and all institutions and agencies of government; Executive (President and Cabinet), Legislature
48 Right to life
49 Right to personal liberty
50 Rights of arrested and detained persons
51 Right to human dignity
53 Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
56 Equality and non-discrimination
57 Right to privacy
58 Freedom of assembly and association
59 Freedom to demonstrate or petition
61 Freedom of expression and of media
67 Political Rights
69 Right to a fair hearing
70 Rights of an accused person
The following Regional and International Conventions were also violated
1. UN convention against torture
2. International convention on civil and political rights
3. Universal declaration of human rights
4. African charter on human and people's rights
5. African Union convention on prevention and combating corruption
6. UN Convention against corruption
7. Freedom of association and protection of the right to organize convention
8. Geneva declaration on armed violence and Development

These abuses and violations were noticed in the following examples just to mention a few:


1. In July 2019, then Minister of Tourism, Prisca Mupfumira, was arrested for corruption and remanded in custody at Chikurubi Female Section where she enjoyed unprecedented privileges including wearing her own clothes, bringing in her blankets and coming to court without leg irons like all other prisoners.
2. In June 2020, the then Minister of Health and Child Care, Obadiah Moyo, was arrested and arraigned before the courts for corruption involving US$60 million of money meant to procuring PPEs to combat the COVID19 pandemic. He came to court with his personal car and aides and was promptly granted bail.
3. In March 2020, the son of High Court Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, Munyaradzi Junior Mawadze was arrested for murder but later given bail by the High Court and is currently freely enjoying his liberty. He was granted bail regardless of the fact that he was facing a serious offense and there was serious evidence linking him to the crime.

4. On 20 July 2020, Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Leader of Transform Zimbabwe party Jacob Ngarivhume were arrested by police and charged with incitement to commit public violence. During the arrest, the police used excessive force including breaking into Hopewell’s home by destroying doors. The two were denied bail besides clear indications that the state case is weak and are currently in custody at Harare Remand Prison where the authorities refused them to wear PPEs and have their cells fumigated for COVID19. This is shocking as the government has indicated that there is a COVID19 outbreak in prisons, essentially the courts are complicit to allowing the state to abuse the law to endanger the lives of those calling for peaceful protests and exposing corruption.
5. In May 2020 MDC Alliance Member of Parliament for Harare West Joana Mamombe and 2 other youth leaders were abducted, tortured and sexually assaulted. The police later arrested them and charged them with lying about their abduction. The trio was denied bail even if it was clear they would not escape anyway. They were detained for over 2 weeks in Chikurubi and their treatment there was nothing like what Prisca Mupfumira enjoyed.
6. In July 2020 Tawanda Muchehiwa was allegedly arrested but was nowhere to be found at police stations only to be dumped after some days after being tortured and exposed to inhumane treatment which robs him of his human dignity.
It should be noted that these cases where selective application and abuse of the law and human rights are just a tip of the iceberg. Another case of concern is August 2018 violence where soldiers used live ammunition against civilians


Furthermore, taking into account that a 2019 UN report found that the use of torture in Zimbabwe has “widespread” and “routine”, we demand that there be an immediate inquiry into any Zimbabweans who are imprisoned on unclear or unspecified charges. Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, the UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, issued a statement in 2019 describing “reports of excessive, misappropriate and lethal use of force against protesters, through use of tear gas, batons and live ammunition.” the Zimbabwean authorities should take heed of the UN expert’s observations that, ‘the repression of protesters, the attempt to ban protests, the excessive use of force and the restrictive application of legislation regulating the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and association gravely overshadow efforts t democratically transform Zimbabwe.”

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