ZimRights condemns lack of human rights legislative

ZimRights condemns lack of human rights legislative
Published: 09 July 2015 (959 Views)

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) chairperson, Passmore Nyakureba has reiterated the condemnation of the lack of human rights legislative reform focus in the current cabinet set-up.

Nyakureba said that President Robert Mugabe's failure to appoint a substantive Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in a recent cabinet reshuffle meant a continued abrogation of his public duties as chief defender of the new Constitution.

"As an organisation our understanding of the mini-cabinet reshuffle is that it fundamentally does not change anything in the way this government has been carrying out human rights business," said Nyakureba.

"However, more importantly we note with concern that the President has decided to leave the Ministry of Justice without a Minister, and still under the charge of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

"We reiterate that the Justice Ministry is the most critical ministry in this country in so far as the post March 2013 constitutional alignment era is concerned.
"It is this Ministry which has to bring laws to Parliament for purposes of alignment with the Constitution."

Recently, the Constitutional court ruled that the Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was not a substantive Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs since such a state of affairs was illegal.

Nyakureba previously in June 2015 remarked that the continued overload of duties on the Vice-President Mnangagwa derailed the process of human rights legislative reform.

The Ministry of Justice is mandated to spearhead the general legislative reform through alignment of laws to the new Constitution.

The government on May 8, 2015 gazetted the General Laws Amendment Bill, which supposedly sought to align 126 Acts to the new Constitution.

The much-anticipated Bill fell far short of instituting human rights legislative reform.

The general laws Bill was gazetted two years after President Mugabe had assented to the new Constitution that now contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights.

Mnangagwa is currently on a State visit to China as one of Mugabe's deputies, exercising one of many duties, which weight upon him in an unprecedented concentration of power in a single government official.

Said Nyakureba: "Again it is the Justice Minister who is leader of government business in Parliament.

"This handicap creates a leadership crisis in Parliament in so far as government business is concerned as the Vice President in charge of the Ministry has more presidium duties to execute than Ministerial duties.

"As we speak right now he is said to be in China. For how long, we do not know. If he is not in China, he is the acting President attending to diplomats and accepting credentials."

Apart from too many official duties, Mnangagwa has been burdened by his questionable human rights record.

Mnangagwa is one of the second secretaries of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and advertised political gladiators in the succession race.

Nyakureba said ZimRights will be looking at ways of raising the issue of a substantive Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with President Mugabe.

"As an organisation we are going to look into ways of raising this issue with the President so that he can normalise the situation," said Nyakureba.

- Byo24News

Tags: ZimRights,
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