Analysis of the Abuja Agreement

Our focus in this month’s Human Rights Monthly is the Abuja accord. Abuja stressed human rights and the rule of law. These are also specified in the Harare Declaration and the Millbrook Programme. The Abuja communique referred to both Commonwealth documents. In this issue we will examine Government’s observance of Abuja and the human rights it agreed to uphold.

The Abuja communique lacked any specific protection for the human rights of farmworkers. Since January 2001, nearly 14 000 farmworkers and their dependants, 70 000 people in all, have become destitute. Minister Chinamasa told Parliament that resettlement would not cater for all displaced farm- workers. GAPWUZ strongly condemned the wanton destruction of farm villages which after Abuja left 70 Macheke farmworkers without their right to shelter.

Abuja also said nothing specific about compensating previous owners for land acquired in a legitimate and orderly land reform programme. It was silent about systematic political violence, the position of the judiciary, and incitement of racial hatred.

The analysis also deals with reactions from other countries, Zimbabwe’s government and civil society.

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