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Harare Given Another Chance To Rebut Report By African Union Rights Body

An official of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights said Harare has been given another chance to respond to a report on rights violations produced by the Commission, adding that the document was not, as reported by the state-run Sunday Mail, rejected by African Union ministers at a weekend AU summit in the Gambia.

The Zimbabwean government has been opposing tabling and adoption of the report by African Union heads of states at summits since 2004, initially saying that it had not received the report through the proper diplomatic channels, then that it had not had time to draft a response. But Harare has since responded, disputing the charges.

A legal officer at the African Commission on Human Rights, based in the Gambia, said the AU ministers discussed the report and Harare’s response for about five hours, but that Zimbabwean officials challenged details of the report. In the end, the AU ministers gave the Zimbabwean government another chance to make an official response.

For a reaction to the weekend's developments, Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to Harare-based human rights lawyer Jacob Mfume.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...