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Harare Eyes Constitutional Change For Human Rights Commission

The Zimbabwean government said it will amend the country's constitution to provide for a human rights commission - but civic groups question Harare's sincerity.

Zimbabwe is required to have such a commission as a member of the African Union and a signatory to the African Commsission on Human and People’s Rights.

Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs David Mangota, told delegates last week at a conference held by the Centre for Peace Initiative in Africa that Harare is already consulting various groups about the form the amendment should take.

Government officials, civic society leaders, church representatives, trade unions and business leaders attended the Peace Initiative conference in Bulawayo.

But National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Harare government hopes to fool the international community into thinking it truly respects human rights.

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