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Lawyers Group Says Zimbabwe Primary Human Rights Abuser

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The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says it is worried that the government has become the primary violator of citizens’ rights and urged it to abide by the rule of law and the constitution.

The organization’s programs manager, Dzimbabwe Chimbgwa, told journalists in the capital today that 2015 has started with serious disenfranchisement of citizens’ rights characterized by the eviction and assault of dozens of families in Mazowe and Chisumbanje by the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

Such actions, he said, had stripped the affected citizens of their guaranteed rights to shelter and dignity.

He called on the police and government to seriously respect some provisions of the new constitutional that protect citizens’ rights to shelter and other basic necessities.

Chimbgwa said it is worrying that eviction cases such as those in Mazowe and Chisumbanje are on the increase on farms and urban areas throughout the country.

He said the late implementation of some provisions of Zimbabwe’s new constitution is partly to blame for the chaos, adding that Acting President and Justice Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has clearly failed to make his government conform to the rule of law.

Zimbabwe still needs to align at least 400 old laws with the new constitution.

Mr. Mnangagwa could not be reached for comment. But Zanu PF member, Gabriel Chaibva, said allegations by the lawyers’ organization that government is violating citizens’ rights in Mazowe and Chisumbanje are mischievous and meant to tarnish the country’s image.

Asked why the court had halted the evictions if it was done legally, he said government was merely respecting the courts and would provide alternative accommodation to the affected in line with Zimbabwe’s constitution.

The Mazowe families in Mashonaland Central province were evicted to pave way for game park that has been linked to First Lady Grace Mugabe.

The Chisumbanje villagers in Manicaland province were brutally assaulted for tilling on land authorities claimed belong to ethanol producer, Green Fuel Private Limited, a company in which government has interests.

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