Community Justice Programme
Can We Hold Members of Parliament to Account for Human Rights Violations?
During the second week of the lock-down, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) documented an incident in Masvingo Province, were an honourable Member of Parliament was alleged to have manipulated COVID-19 Aid. A ZimRights member recorded audio evidence of said MP and this evidence is now in our possession. As community members reflected on this utterly shameless conduct, it then surfaced that the same member in November 2019 has manipulated inputs for the Presidential Inputs Scheme.
The manipulation of food aid for political gain is not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe. That however does not make it normal. Communities are beginning to reflect on ways of holding such public officials to account. It cannot be possibly acceptable for people who are supposed to serve such a high office in the nation to engage in that kind of activity with no consequences.
If we take the case of the Masvingo Member of Parliament as an example, manipulation of food aid brings out a number of issues that opens up a number of avenues for human rights advocacy, including possible criminal sanction.