Zimbabwe yesterday joined the rest of the world in marking the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and the Dignity of Victims with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum expressing concern at the resurgence of cases of abductions.
This followed the abduction of journalist and political activist Itai Dzamara two weeks ago.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director Abel Chikomo said the State should guarantee the rights of individuals.
Taken from Newsday
“Dzamara’s whereabouts are still unknown to his family, friends and colleagues,” he said in a statement.
“The Forum stands in solidarity with Dzamara’s family and many other victims of gross human rights violations as we join the world in commemorating this day and reiterates the imprescriptible right to know the truth about the circumstances in which the violations took place, the progress and results of the investigations.”
Added Chikomo: “Dzamara’s family and Zimbabweans need to know the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place, as well as the reasons for them.
“It is the duty and obligation of the State to ensure that that the perpetrators are found and made accountable for their actions.”
The Forum said the right to truth was still to be realised in Zimbabwe despite the various episodes of violations characterising the country’s history, such as Gukurahundi, Operation Murambatsvina and pre and post-election violence among others. Chikomo said the slow progress towards the implementation of the Constitution continued to throw some doubt over the government’s sincerity towards issues of truth, justice and accountability.
“The new Constitution provides for a framework for truth recovery, national healing and reconciliation through the establishment of the independent commissions under Chapter 12, in particular the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC),” he said.
“The NPRC is mandated to ensure among other functions, post conflict justice, healing and reconciliation and to bring about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitating the making of amends and provision of justice, but the progress is slow.”
More than a year and a half after the effective date of the new Constitution, the NPRC was yet to be constituted and the enabling legislation yet to be enacted.
This was despite the NPRC having a prescriptive period of 10 years.