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Zimbabwe Remembers Victims of Torture

FILE: A child from Zimbabwe waits for a bus to depart for Harare, from a camp for those affected by anti-immigrant violence in Chatsworth, north of Durban April 19, 2015.

Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world today in remembering victims of torture with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission saying it’s unable to decisively deal with torture due to the absence of the an enabling legislation.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairman, Elasto Mugwadi, said while the constitution prohibits torture there was no statute to that effect.

He said the first step for Zimbabwe would be to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Civic Education Network Trust executive director, Wellington Mbofana, said the domestication of the UN convention against torture will strengthen the operations of the human rights commission as well as preventing cases of torture.

Mbofana said the absence of legislation is perpetuating torture in the country as most perpetrators go unpunished.

He noted that government must also rehabilitate torture victims.

Several victims of torture in Zimbabwe said they need compensation and support from government but Mugwadi stressed that in the absence of legislation it would be difficult to provide such support.

Zimbabwe and Tanzania are among seven out of the 54 African countries who have not ratified and domesticated the UN convention against torture.

June 26th has been set aside by the United Nations as a day for remembering victims of torture and to find ways of eliminating such activities in all countries.