The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum welcomes the adoption of the decision of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Communication 245/02 (Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum vs. the Government of Zimbabwe) by the African Union Summit of Heads of Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 2007.
The African Commission found the Government of Zimbabwe in violation of articles 1 and 7 of the African Charter. This means that the Government of Zimbabwe had violated the right to protection of the law and that it failed to put in place measures to ensure the enjoyment of these rights by Zimbabweans. The endorsement of the decision by the African Union is recognition by African Heads of States that there are human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
Communication 245/02 was filed at the African Commission in 2002. It noted human rights violations that occurred during the Land Reform Programme, 2000 Parliamentary Elections and 2002 Presidential Elections. The Communication stated that the Government of Zimbabwe had abandoned its duty and responsibility to protect Zimbabweans against human rights violations, as stated in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The African Commission called on “the Zimbabwe Government to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate, the causes of the violence that took place from February-June 2000 and bring those responsible for violence to justice and identify the victims of the violence in order to provide them with just and adequate compensation”. The NGO Forum urges the Zimbabwe Government to comply with the decision of the African Commission. The NGO Forum further exhorts the Government to ensure compliance with its obligations under the African Charter.