ZimRights approaches the Parliament of Zimbabwe and handed over a petition signed by 1006 members of the public.
We the undersigned citizens of Zimbabwe, have taken note of the call for nominations of persons for possible appointment to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) published by your committee in the local press and on the Parliament website in line with section 237, 243 and 244 of the Constitution.
Realising the importance of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission in our country, Acknowledging the exhortation of the constitution’s section 141 (a) which obliges the Parliament to facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its committees, Conscious of the sacred tenets of the Harare Commonwealth Declaration which proclaims the:
“individual’s inalienable right to participate by means of free and democratic processes in framing the society in which he or she lives.”
Believing that participation of the public must be substantial and not merely tokenism, And yet paralysed by the limited time made available by your committee for public nominations and the lack of availability of the nominations forms, necessary information and civic education in the areas where we live,
Do hereby petition your highly esteemed house to extend the nomination process by a further four weeks to allow us to interact with the process, consult and consider more deeply the persons we want to nominate for this important commission.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) requires commissioners of high integrity chosen for their knowledge, understanding, and experience in promoting and protecting human rights. Given the key role played by the offices of the commissioners, through the commission, in protecting and promoting Human Rights in Zimbabwe, it is imperative upon parliament to exercise due care and diligence in adopting a holistic and inclusive approach that widens the participation by ensuring the extension of the nomination period.
Further, we have noted that while we acknowledge Section 6 (1) of the Constitution, that Zimbabwe is multi-linguistic and that the vast majority of its citizenry are in communities where there is limited access to information, therefore as members of the public, we believe our participation will be enhanced with more publicity and time for more of us to be involved, in the language that we understand.
In that regard, we, humbly, appeal to you, honourable members, to;
- Extend the period of nominations from 13 March 2020 by a further 4 weeks
- Increase publicity on the nomination process through the use of different languages and media channels
- Make available in marginalized centres the nomination forms for commissioners
Signed as below
By 1006 members of the public.
Attached is the original letter