WASHINGTON DC —
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commemorations belatedly commemorated the International Human Rights Day with government saying sanctions are hampering the country’s efforts to promote and protect human rights.
Speaking during the commemorations, Deputy Justice Minister Fortune Chasi, who was standing for Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, said human rights can thrive under economically stable conditions.
Chasi pleaded with those that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to lift them to enable a better operating environment for human rights.
Despite the economic challenges, Chasi said the country has made great strides in promoting and protecting human rights adding this will be further bolstered by the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
The rights commission formed during the era of the inclusive government has started recruiting staff for its secretariat and will soon open regional offices in Harare and Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Director, Okay Machisa, however differed with Chasi saying there is more that the government could do with or without targeted sanctions.
President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle were slapped with targeted sanctions 10 years ago by some Western countries for human rights violations and failure to hold credible elections among other reasons.
Speaking at the same occasion, European Union head of delegation, Mr. Aldo dell Ariccia, commended Zimbabweans for adopting a new constitution which he said offer greater protection of human rights.
He said there has been a marked decrease in human rights violations since its adoption early this year.
He, however, said Zimbabwe must ratify regional and international treaties that protect and promote human rights such as the United Nations Convention against Torture.
He said the EU stands ready to assist the rights commission perform its mandate.
The International Human Rights Day is commemorated the worldwide on December 10 following the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly on this day in 1948.