ZimRights Presents the People’s Human Rights Manifesto to President Emmerson Mnangagwa Calling for Unequivocal Prioritisation of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s Political Discourse
On the 8th of August 2023, ZimRights National Chairperson Mr. Takesure Musiiwa presented The People’s Human Rights Manifesto (the People’s Manifesto) to the President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa both in his capacity as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe as well as the Presidential Candidate for the Zimbabwe Africa National Unit – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
The People’s Human Rights Manifesto was launched on the 12th of April 2023, under ZimRights Shifting Power to the People Strategy. The Manifesto is an elections dialogue tool, compiled by ZimRights on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe with the purpose of bringing human rights values and virtues at the centre of electoral processes. The People’s Human Rights Manifesto (PHRM) uses the universal language of human rights to express what Zimbabweans expect from those who aspire to lead us as Councillors, Members of Parliament, and President of our country. It is the product of extensive nationwide public consultations conducted by ZimRights. The manifesto captures the views of Zimbabweans from all walks of life, who speak first and foremost as citizens of Zimbabwe outside the restrictions of political party agendas. It is also enriched by the opinions of ZimRights members spread all over the country, diaspora communities, as well as the diverse perspectives of community, interfaith, and civil society leaders, all speaking from their common position as citizens of Zimbabwe.
The Peoples Human Rights Manifesto sets the benchmark for evaluating the conduct of elected officials throughout their tenure in office. It is a pact between citizens and the officials they elect, which promotes policy-based and performance-based electoral choices instead of cheap populism. The manifesto introduces a new era of accountability in Zimbabwe’s political processes. It serves as the convergence point that unites citizens’ aspirations, human rights, and national electoral processes, redefining what it means to hold public office and carry the people’s mandate to govern.
As the largest grassroots movement for human rights in Zimbabwe, ZimRights is entrusted with the crucial and delicate task of translating the voices of thousands of Zimbabweans it consulted into the text of the People’s Human Rights Manifesto (PHRM). The PHRM belongs to the people of Zimbabwe, and its strength lies in reflecting the ideas of a diverse cross-section of citizens, including marginalized communities, women who are often excluded from public debate, and minorities in Zimbabwe. It draws upon the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of Zimbabwe to translate fundamental rights into measurable points of action.
The Manifesto provides 10 key asks as presented below:
- Uphold and defend the integrity of the Constitution of Zimbabwe
- Respect the political rights of all Zimbabweans.
- Make quality healthcare services accessible to all.
- Improve access to basic amenities and services.
- Provide affordable quality education for our children.
- Protect and promote livelihoods.
- Provide land and decent housing to citizens.
- Facilitate the exercise of freedoms.
- Be accountable to the people of Zimbabwe.
- Practice Good Governance and Fight Corruption
In Conclusion, the 10 Asks presented above are not exhaustive of all the needs and expectations of the people of Zimbabwe. Instead, they represent a list of some of the most pressing issues that citizens throughout Zimbabwe want elected officials to commit to before the election and work to deliver on after assuming public office. By keeping in close contact with their constituencies, elected officials will be able to learn more about the specific needs of their communities.
ZimRights commits to continuing engagement with all political leaders and duty bearers in the quest to ensure that the politics of Zimbabwe delivers real value to the ordinary people of Zimbabwe.