Zimbabwe not the worst in terms of human rights violation – new ZHRC chair Majome

Jessie Majome


THE newly sworn-in Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson Fungayi Jessie Majome has said the country is not the worst in terms of human rights violations but her office will interrogate such allegations.

Majome was speaking to the media after being sworn in by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House on Wednesday that almost every nation globally had its problems regarding human rights.

The former opposition MP and former cabinet deputy minister said it was important to shun the“artificial politicisation” of human rights and focus on the respect and promotion of human dignity.

“As citizens, we also have the duty to respect and promote and fulfil the rights of others.

“Let us move away from the very destructive  North, South divide because the Western countries have their own human rights problems but we focus on our problems and solve them.

“What is important is that we need to delink the global politicisation of human rights because human rights are about the dignity, quality and freedom for every one of us.

“l do not think Zimbabwe is the worst in terms of human rights violation in the world but of course, l will work with the Commission, be objective, be evidence-based in our mode of operation,  to investigate honestly and openly all allegations of human rights abuses as alleged,” Majome said.

She added that in the Zimbabwean context, it was important to investigate and see how the nation can improve the human rights situation.

“Our Constitution has a bill of Rights which are broad and as a country,  we have a connection with that which gives a duty bearer on the state to uphold and promote human rights.

“I am hoping that we can do the culture of human rights which is not an alien introduced by the British or the colonisers.

“I believe that the Liberation Struggle for this country was a culmination of human rights struggles that we should remember, hoping that one day,  we reach a point where all of us enjoy them.”

Majome stated that human rights were a fulfilment of the country’s national aspirations and her priority would be to get the support of the citizenry and the state in delivering her mandate.

“I am very excited about being given the privilege to be able to serve my country at this level.

“My philosophy is that human rights are like happiness. There is never anyone who can be totally in a delirious or 100 percent total state of happiness.

“Human rights are a noble aspiration that we  aspire to, so it is not correct to say we are perfectly alright and there are no human rights violations in Zimbabwe and that there is no need for improvement.”

Added Majome: “We want to work in a wholesome manner because there is no country without human rights.

“We need to speak about it in our concepts, in terms of our cultural contest because it is something that we are receiving.

“We are about the dignity of the human being, freedom and quality. Let us get into those helpful conversations and avoid artificial politicisation.”

Zimbabwe is a party to international conventions such as the Convention of Civil and Political Rights and the Convention of Economic, Social and Cultural Human Rights as well as the African Charter for Human Rights and its Protocol.

“I don’t believe we are in a competition or contest to be won to say which ones are important, but we can interrogate ourselves by ourselves and measure because we know what is good.

“Our concept of Ubuntu, the right to life is so protected in our culture such that we did not have the death penalty in culture.

“I hope that we speak from our perspective as Zimbabweans or Africans about human rights and remember that we are not in a contest hence, no one needs to tell us that it is bad to kill someone because we know it,” she said.

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