Heal Zimbabwe commends the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) for launching investigations into cases of human rights abuses that were reported by Heal Zimbabwe. In January 2017, Heal Zimbabwe facilitated for its community peace structures in Gutu, Zaka, Bikita West and Muzarabani to report cases of human rights violations to the ZHRC. Cases that were reported include unfair food aid distribution, intimidation and harassment, forced attendance to political party activities, forced financial contribution to political party and national events. A total of 90 cases were reported to the Commission between June 2016 and January 2017.
In December 2016, the ZHRC deployed a team to Muzarabani to investigate 5 cases of unfair food aid distribution and after their intervention the problem was rectified. This week, the ZHRC again deployed a team to Gutu, Zaka and Bikita West to commence the investigation of cases reported. Community members who interacted with the Commission are grateful for the efforts the Independent Commission is making in protecting, promoting and defending human rights in Zimbabwe. Heal Zimbabwe applauds the ZHRC for fulfilling its constitutional mandate enshrined in Section 243 of the Constitution which states that “the ZHRC shall investigate the conduct of any authority or person, where it is alleged that any of the human rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration of Rights has been violated by that authority or person and to secure appropriate redress, including recommending for prosecution of offenders, where human rights or freedoms have been violated.” This acts as a deterrent to future offenders and boosts the confidence of communities to freely participate in democratic and development processes knowing that there rights are protected by the law.
Heal Zimbabwe further appeals to the ZHRC to go a step further and carry out all necessary measures to ensure that there is redress and perpetrators are brought to book. This helps to create peaceful communities where citizens enjoy fundamental human rights and freedoms.