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Harare, NGOs to Resume Talks on Proposed Human Rights Panel

Zimbabwe's National Association of Nongovernmental Organizations has accused the United Nations Development Program of pursuing a divisive strategy in bypassing the umbrella group in lobbying NGOs to support creation of a human rights commission.

NANGO has expressed opposition to creating such a commission until the government repeals legislation it considers oppressive, such as the Public Order and Security Act or POSA and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, or AIPPA.

NANGO officials said the UNDP has been taking up the proposal for a human rights commission with individual civil society groups ahead of the scheduled resumption of discussions late in March on the controversial proposed rights panel.

UNDP Communications Officer Jabulani Sithole in Harare declined to comment without receiving questions in writing, which is contrary to VOA editorial policy.

NANGO Communications and Advocacy Manager Fambai Ngirande told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that NANGO's position has not changed since talks on the proposed commission faltered last year.

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