Zim human rights chief quits in protest

2012-12-29 22:25

Harare - The chairperson of Zimbabwe's human rights commission, appointed to help curb rights violations, has resigned citing inhibiting laws and lack of resources, a state daily reported on Saturday.

"The critical reason for my resignation is the legal framework... within which the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is expected now and in the future, to carry out its mandate," The Herald newspaper quoted Professor Reg Austin as saying in a statement.

"As a national human rights institution the commission must be independent and properly capacitated."

Austin cited sections of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act and electoral laws that he said impinged on the commission's work.

The commission was appointed in 2009 as part of a raft of reforms agreed on by parties in the country's power-sharing government to guarantee fair and peaceful elections.

Austin once complained about the absence of a proper office for the commission and lack of equipment that rendered the commission ineffectual.

The rights group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Austin's resignation indicated a serious threat to the protection of human rights.

"This resignation is an unequivocal statement of the condemnation of the current operating framework particularly the excessive powers of the executive," it said.

"Lack of effective powers and independence of the commission to investigate and take strong action where human rights violations have been brought to its attention and its inability to independently investigate and take strong action in relation to electoral-related violations."

Zimbabwe is soon expected to hold elections to choose a successor to the power-sharing government formed by veteran President Robert Mugabe and long-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by violence and intimidation.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-12-29 22:57

    It is going to take many years to fix up the country that Mugabe has destroyed.

      lownabester - 2012-12-30 00:14

      That must be one of the toughest jobs on earth. Just get rid of Bob, and problem solve.

      popza.nzama - 2012-12-30 00:21

      Ian Smith is responsible for this.

      bless.boswell - 2012-12-30 00:46

      Please explain why Ian smith is responsible. He has had nothing to do with running the country for nearly 30 years.

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-30 02:13

      Popza - actually, I have decided against responding to you. I do not like resorting to abusive language. But what a contradiction in terms - The head of the Human Rights quitting because they are interfering with his human rights!

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-30 02:57

      And just for in case anybody has forgotten, Mugabe LOST the last elections, and through acts of intimidation and violence he still managed to kling to power and make everybody's lives a misery, while our useless "quiet deplomacy" government does nothing.

      mathata.fela.7 - 2012-12-30 07:11

      Kortbroek, just wait and see what will happen in South Africa when the ANC is in the same position as Mugabe. They will also never give up power, that is the African way and their reason for the "quiet deplomacy" approach.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 11:35

      popza - Why can you never accept responsibility for your own f***ups? Why do you always have to blame someone else? You are supposedly an educator?! You need to be educated yourself my son.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-12-29 22:58

    Here we go again.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-12-30 07:48

      When South Africa was under a white government, the whole world stuck their noses into our affairs. Now that the ANC have ruined the country and more blacks are suffering than ever before, the world looks the other way. Same with Zimbabwe. All is forgiven when it's a black person causing the misery and human rights infringements. When a white person does ONE thing wrong, the entire world wants revenge.

  • Joel Nyandoro - 2012-12-29 23:00

    Let me remind you about a real fact, in Zim elections can only be won by blood-shed nd not by pen and paper ! lol...

      lownabester - 2012-12-30 00:14

      You are so right about that, Joel.

      popza.nzama - 2012-12-30 00:24

      But for Ian Smith and the SA Apartheid Regime things would not have gone so far.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-30 03:08

      Colonialist rule ended in 1980, that's 32 years ago. Why are you blaming problems that the Mugabe created in his quest for personal enrichment on a dead person? In 1900 85% of the world was under so-called colonial control. You don't hear this whining of colonisation of minds comming from South America, Japan, China, Vietnam etc, they have MOVED ON. You don't hear the boers still whining about the British, they have also moved on. Popza MOVE ON for Pete's sake

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-12-30 05:01

      I think Popza would like to move on. He just doesn't know how to, or, in which direction......

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 07:00

      VaNyandoro, stop enjoying praises from white people hoping to be classified as a liberal. What Zimbabwe need is to get rid of the Lancaster House Peace Treaty which masquerades as a constitution and then we can start talking about moving on. @kortbroek.duplessis, yep the colonial rule ended 32 years ago but what you tend to forget is the concessions made 32 years ago are still legally binding, so you cant wish away the ghost of Ian Smith, Lord Soames et al from the true picture in Zim situation.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 07:10

      @kortbroek.duplessis, by the way Dude, Boers complain at every opportunity abt the so-called holocaust at the hands of the British and honestly, Boers havent moved on. Hence funny organisations like Afriforum, Solidarity etc. Boers complain about beings victims from just any other ethnicity in South Africa and don't take criticism or responsibility for their actions prior to the advent of democracy in RSA. So honestly, you are not qualified to comment on Zimbabwe.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-30 07:32

      magaisada you are talking garbage. They do however complain about farm murders, a useless police force, potholes in the roads which in many cases they would repair, talks of nationalisation of farms etc. All because of a inept ANC. The Boer nation is a proud nation, they have never had any reason to blame failures on the British or anyone else.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 07:42

      @kortbroek.duplessis....The Boer Nation? Please do educate about its origins to present day.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 11:42

      magaisada - Shame, black folks like you are always complaining about the 'black holocaust'. Even though your population EXPLODED since the settlers arrived here ne. Please dont comment on things you know nothing about.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 13:20

      @Sinudeity I have never complained about a so-called black holocaust so dont know what you are talking about. How come no white person in RSA will never admit that effects of colonisation and racist pre-independent Africa are indeed partly responsible for some of the problems the continent is going through, but are quick to sympathise with Jews whenever they mention the suffering they went through at the hands of Nazi Germany? Its like there is an unwritten rule that Africans deserved what they went through and shouldnt complain.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-29 23:07

    And so the consequences of 'quiet diplomacy' and 'non-intervention' start to manifest. Well I am sure that SADEC and the AU and all the other alphabet soup will eventually spin this into another "proud moment for self-determination". None will be ashamed or even mention, 30 years of death, destruction, oppression. There is no concept of waste in African Time

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-12-30 07:41

      Because it's happened under a black president. Now, imagine if this had all occurred under Ian Smith. The world would have been up in arms. A lot if forgiven when it's blacks in charge - apparently it's justified and acceptable then.

  • Barry - 2012-12-29 23:12

    Human rights in Zim?

  • Joel Nyandoro - 2012-12-29 23:19

    @Banny very funny hey?

  • mshiniboys - 2012-12-30 00:55

    Funny because the people who talk rubish here on news 24 are doing so because they would just love to get their filthy hands on the country's natural resources.

      joeycilliers - 2012-12-30 00:58

      Mshiniboys..why on earth do you think anyone is still listening to your hogwash..peoples eyes are starting to open..just a pity yours will never..I really feel sorry for you,no jokes.

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-30 02:16

      No no, we do not get our filthy hands on the resources - we use machinery - you in contrast, would have struggled getting it out with your hands and ended up getting them filthy, considering you did not have the equipment to do it otherwise.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-12-30 07:44

      Hey mshiniboys - tell that to Mugabe's Chinese friends. Who do you think he's got in his back pocket, helping him keep power? Who do you think is giving him money to keep in power? You truly are not very bright, are you? Or do you think it's only white people who are out to get you clever guys?

      mshiniboys - 2012-12-30 09:03

      Amanda I did not mention white people you crackpot.But I think my comment got to the right of your friends who also thinks that Im colour coding my comments talks about using 'our' hands.The fact is that hands taake what is available to humans while you destroy our world with your machinery.You have sent many species to extinction in your countries now you are destroying environment here in Africa rendering our animals that what you pride yourselves for? You people think you are clever and as far as i will always be dumb you and your machineries :)

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 11:45

      mshiniboys - Or maybe we are just getting tired of giving Zimbabwe free electricity and millions of rands in bailouts every year, because they cant afford to pay their own civil servants. Maybe we are just getting tired of having to house the refugees of all the failed African states.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 12:01

      mshiniboys - How much money do you think SA will need to give Zimbabwe just so that you can hold elections?

  • ben.tigedi - 2012-12-30 01:59


      makhosonke.mqikela - 2012-12-30 07:11

      This is no YEBO Millionaires site. Please grow up!

  • ben.tigedi - 2012-12-30 02:00


      SkyeBenga - 2012-12-30 07:14

      Bit too much kachasu?

  • kyle.white.39750 - 2012-12-30 04:10

    Who cares. Live life.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-30 04:28

    You can't even afford to take a dump in Zim... Zuma and Mugabe are one and the same wouldn't be suprised if they are somehow related... wast zuma's great grand parents illegal imegrants from Zimbabwe? I think Zuma should run for Zim president then he f-up Zim further and let this rainbow nation rebuild itself...

      mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2012-12-30 06:54

      I dont agree with you, you are too generic thuli madonsela sacked two top zuma allies through him and he never had a problem *bheki cele and the late sicelo shiceka. In zim this would not have been possible.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 08:03

      @mzwandile.dlamanzi can you pick the geographical local of Zim on the African map?

  • philemonmaepa.phatlane - 2012-12-30 06:28

    it seems mugabe is untouchable.i guess his words are final and no comment from anyone including his ministers.zim will always be like this as long mugabe is alive and kicking.shame to zim citizens

  • ron.wale.3 - 2012-12-30 07:20

    At present, there is no-one in Zimbabwe capable of running that country properly. The new Constitution does not create a Democracy, and without this Zimbabwe will NEVER be prosperous... poverty will forever plague the people. Discrimination is entrenched in the Constitution as a result of brainwashing, and the wealthy nations are not going to be interested in providing aid to Zimbabwe under those circumstances. Major companies are not going to invest, food security will NEVER be a reality until a civilised agricultural policy is implemented, etc. Nothing will change in Zimbabwe until the government is made accountable to the people - not the other way round. The Constitution must provide for government officials to be nominated and elected by the People, not the political parties - and only qualified persons should be allowed to stand for election to their portfolios - eg agriculture should be headed by someone with an agricultural background, not some political cadre who doesn't know which end of a meilie attaches to the stalk. Per the first comment above, it will take generations to fix the country... if at all!

  • charl.odonovan - 2012-12-30 07:35

    When we left Zim we were greeted at the last filling station with this, "We are glad all you white people are leaving". When we asked the attendant why, he replied, "Because now we get the machine that prints all the money". The problem is not Mugabe. Too many still support his ideology. And the "too many" are lied to and promised things that are impossible to fulfill!

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 07:59

      and where are you now Charl? preparing to leave another country for another? I find it had to believe you statement.

      colin.dovey - 2012-12-30 08:47

      There is a significant population of Zimbabweans in South Africa, making up the country's largest group of foreign migrants. There are 1,5 million Zimbabweans in South Africa which is in fact a tenth of Zimbabwe's population......who are the one's NOW leaving one country for another?

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 09:15

      Xavier7034 True there is a significant population of Zimbos in RSA. Just like there are Nigerians, Mozambiquans, Irish, Russian (mafios and prostitutes), Thais, Dutch.... we could go on. Its the dynamics of modern migration. By the way at the last count, the largest number of African immigrants in RSA are Mozambiquans, followed by the Congolese, Zimbos (black and white)and Nigerians. Facts from the Statistician General, not Afriforum.

      chaapo.sithole - 2012-12-30 15:40

      Why bother debating with a paid CIO troll?

  • charl.odonovan - 2012-12-30 08:11

    @magaisada, believe what you like my intellectual, politically enlightened fellow Zimba! I see you stay in Bez valley? Be carefull of hypocrisy!! Your ideology is flawed, together with your hatred of your fellow man. Zimbabwe exported meat to Switzerland and the tobacco floors which sorted some of Africa's best tobacco are now in Mozambique. Now all your agreements and treaties doesn't change that my friend. I think you draw too much of your political views from your screwed up pentecostal theological views.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 08:43

      I totally agree with your point abt our economy having crushed. But my point is we are so quick to blame one side on the issue of Zimbabwe. Zim is a complex issue and as such we should try to be honest. Take blame where necessary and credit when due. I have no hatred for fellow man, but I find it hard when most people become expects on the Zim situation merely by reading News24. I believe we should always get both sides of the story to avoid another country taking the Zim route. The current leadership in Zim is to blame for some of their policies and abrasive diplomacy skills but at the same time we cant forget how Zim came to be and the role of the "silent players." What happened in Zim is not one man's fault if we are to be open and honest. It was a culmination of a series of terrible events and decisions by both Bob and Tony, but Tony was luck enough in that he represented the Crown so he could go home, and Bob's house was on fire.

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-12-30 08:59

      The people of Zimbabwe are to blame. They voted for Mugabe.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 09:07

      @stewart.croucamp.9 Dude we dont want to play a blame game. Can we try a factual game? Intellectually engage each other with facts, not hate.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 11:47

      stewart - Bob LOST the last elections. Do you think a winner would institute a power-sharing government?

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-12-30 08:17

    We all know thats the mentallity,blame everything and everyone else,dont care just blunder along no matter what without planning ahead.

  • charl.odonovan - 2012-12-30 09:08

    @Xavier, yes those are the "official" amount of Zimbas in S.Africa, but I think it's way more. Like Sau Paulo, apparently should have about 20 mil but when we were there the people on the ground reckons its closer to double that figure. Zim has nothing to offer anymore. From the breadbasket of Africa to the fruitshow of a failing continent. Whether its complex or not, the majority of the damage was/is done by man who promises the people land and riches yet we know by far the majority of the "goodies" are landing in his cronies laps. Same with Mal-ema, 48000 commercial farms(approx) in S.A. yet he promises 40mil people the land. Note he makes blanket promises which means nothing, same as Mug. Some are enabled to lead and rule from before birth, just admit it these guys cannot.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 09:41


      Joe - 2012-12-31 09:37

      @Charl, Zimbabwe is different from South Africa and mending the economy will be a challenge I know but as a people luckily don't have that mental poverty. We know where,why and how we went wrong. We definitely know our priorities, limitations and strengths. Shonas can farm by the way. You should take a visit to some of the ordinary peoples farms. We have managed to have a lot of success stories in the Midlands in the face of adversity and when the old man goes believe me we wont take 15 years before we are fully functional. We also have the advantage that most of us can actually stretch a day (African thing). We are going through a bad phase but it will pass.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-12-30 09:22

    I think South Africans must stop thinking that their opinion counts in other countries.Not everything is about you in the world leave those countries to their citizens.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 11:49

      Just a pity we have to support the failing African states that you dont want us to talk about.

      mshiniboys - 2012-12-30 13:01

      Your support doesnt equal what you steal from them though.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 14:24

      mshiniboys - And yet you fail to make any mention of the billions that bob and his cronies have stolen from their own countrymen. Again, I say, take some responsibility for yourself.

  • charl.odonovan - 2012-12-30 09:25

    By supporting Mugabe, YOU hate your fellow man. How many Zimbas in S.Africa to keep themselves alive and support their families in Zim, Mugabe hates his own, just look at the amount of Zimbas struggling and suffering under his rule. And now we are not even taking into account all the bodies down the mine shafts. You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting this dictator. He ruined the best (most beautiful and naturally diverse) country in Africa. And you support him from Bez Valley? Hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite!!!

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 09:38

      By the way Charl, am enjoying a lovely Festive time in Marondera. Only stay in RSA due to the fact that I was headhunted by global company to work for them in RSA, so RSA is just working post, just like for Sifiso Dabengwa at MTN, Pfungwa Serima at SAP, Trevor Ncube at Mail and Guardian ect etc. Its unfortunate you call me a hypocrite for my beliefs and you feel that your beliefs are a universal standard and every dark skinned person like me should subscribe to them. And I see trying to intellectually discuss the problems of Zim, past and present with you, my fellow man, will never happen. Your are too emotional and bitter to engage so will respect your opinions but that doesnt mean I agree with you.

      tobydt - 2012-12-30 11:51

      magaisada - So you are a refugee who couldnt get employed in your own country, because of the failed government, so now you are in South Africa.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 14:21

      @Sinudeity. You need help pal

  • charl.odonovan - 2012-12-30 09:52

    I did not ask you or any other whatever-skinned person to subscribe to anything. Just don't live in denial mate! How can you see that I'm bitter if that huge chip on your shoulder is blocking your view? Enjoy Marondera, beautiful place.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 10:00

      We finally agree on one thing, Marondera is indeed beautiful. Too bad you cant join us for a braai this afternoon. You would have made a wonderful guest.

  • zenzele.mazibuko.9 - 2012-12-30 12:14

    country ruled by a bunch of ruthless,greedy,murderous individuals with a twisted logic who cares nothing about those who voted them on power.

      magaisada - 2012-12-30 14:18

      Perfect description of the Zuma-led RSA government Mr Mazibuko!!!

  • flysouth - 2012-12-30 15:13

    In a place where there are no human rights, who would have thought there could exist a Human Rights Commission? The insanity of Zimbabwe government in an insane continent!

  • alfredtimire.vuranda - 2012-12-31 17:03

    I don't care about you twisted veiws magaisada. But I do know one thing though, that there is no Human Rights in our country Zim. This can only change if us as Zimbabwean start to realise this. The first step of solving a problem is to recognise it. Magaisada nakirwa but think about your fellow countrymen don't be selfish ximmm.

      magaisada - 2013-01-02 09:34

      But I thought the country is making baby steps towardsthat? The encompassing constitution making process? Our country is in a mess, i would be the first one to admit that. But at the same time Alfred we need to do things the right way so we dont go back. We made mistakes in 1980 thats why we are going back. Now this is our last chance to design a prosperous Zimbabwe. We need to accept our failures and also create our own identity based on failures and successes, not just to head bash our selves in public in the hope of getting sympathy from the world. We dont need sympathy now, but a serious reality check by Zimbabweans of different political ideologies.

  • alfredtimire.vuranda - 2013-01-02 11:37

    We don't need sympathy are you sure? You don't get aid from people who don't sympathies with you bro. The time to sweep everything under the carpet has to come to an end. Everyone should know what is going on everywhere. People who wrong others and break the law should be held accountable politicians included. Takatosekwa kare this is the time to get help, don't blame the Lancester make shift constitution, Zanu PF had all the time in the world to change it fairly, but they did not. Ask youself what/who is causing confusion in the process of making a new consitution uhmm.

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-01-02 17:13

      We could argue for ever mumwe wangu, but the good thing is that we all want a better Zimbabwe for us and our children and its time to stop pointing fingers and take the painful choices kuti nyika yedu ibudirire. Personally, I support anyone who will lead the country into a bright future. We need change, but not change for the sake of change but because it is the right thing to do. Remember what happened to our Zambian brothers when they ushered in Chiluba?

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