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UN calls on Mnangagwa to protect civic space, independent judiciary

By Dylan Murambgi Political Correspondent

THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has made a raft recommendations to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration in the wake of worsening rights situation bedeviling the country.

The developments were unveiled at the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group where the Southern Africa nation was place under discussion for the third time on Wednesday, 26 January 2022 in a meeting that will be webcast live.

While there are other key notable improvements implemented by the Zimbabwean government, the UNHRC recommended that urgently needs to protect and strengthen the civic space, takes swift actions to end impunity for human rights and adopt legislation protecting human rights defenders which allows the full enjoyment of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

The remarks comes at the time when government is set to enact a PVO Bill widely dismissed by experts as a tool aimed at silencing and limiting  the work of NGOs.

“The council recommended that #Zimbabwe must ratify the Conventions: against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment , for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and  on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers.

“The need to strengthen efforts to improve access to healthcare facilities and medical assistance , guaranteeing  persons under 18 the right to sexual and reproductive health, protection of minors from non-consensual surgeries and violations of body was also recommended,” the UNHRC said.

The Southern Africa nation was also urged to pursue  its efforts towards availing #EducationForAll by providing teachers with training on using e-learning platforms, guaranteeing 12 years of free primary and secondary education as well as providing internet access to all schools.

The exerts also called for  the establishment of a moratorium on #deathpenalty with a view to its eventual abolition and  ratification of the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The nation must step  up its efforts to fight violence and discrimination against women, ensuring the rights  protection of #LGBTQIA and decriminalising  same-sex relations as well as criminalizing  child marriages.

The government was also urged to ensure the independence of the judiciary establishment of an independent complaint system to receive and investigate public complaints against security services, guarantee the independence of the national #HumanRights Commission

The council also added  that the country needs to step up efforts in combating human trafficking • ensures access to food, water & adequate housing for people affected by #climatechange & natural disasters  and ensures access to birth registration for people living in rural areas.

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