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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations - Zimbabwe: 7th to 10th Periodic Report, 1996-2006

Adopted at 41st Ordinary Session May 16 to May 30 , 2007 Accra,Ghana.



I.                   Recommendations

 1.        The African Commission recommends the following to the Government of Zimbabwe:

a.       Continue to pursue the institutional reforms aimed at establishing or strengthening a culture of human rights and the rule of law;

b.      Expedite the process of establishing a National Human Rights Commission in accordance with the “Paris Principles to the Status of National Institutions” [UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1992/54];

c.       Incorporate socio-economic rights provisions in its constitution and laws in line with the provisions of the African Charter in order to strengthen the interdependence and indivisibility of the rights and their immediate enjoyment and implementation;

d.      Undertake a comprehensive review of laws that restrict the enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of assembly;

e.       Continue to put in place the necessary reforms to strengthen the judiciary, prison services and law enforcement agencies with a view to promoting and protecting the human rights of all;

f.        Ensure that the conditions of arrest, preliminary interrogation and detention of suspects comply with the principles of the Robben Island Guidelines;

g.       Adopt a holistic approach to prison decongestion and conditions of detention in the prisons, and ensure that the planned policy on Pre-Trial Diversion aimed at young offenders does not compromise one’s right to be presumed innocent;

h.      Abolish the death penalty;

i.         Take adequate measures in combating insecurity, violence, and police and law enforcement excesses, and to ensure respect for the provisions of the African Charter;

j.         Eradicate police violence and extrajudicial killings and immediately investigate such reports and bring those responsible to justice and put in place mechanisms to adequately compensate victims;

k.       Undertake a comprehensive review of the application of statutory and customary laws in the country with a view to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to protect the human rights of women and girls from discriminatory practices and to ensure fair dispensation of justice;

l.         Repeal laws that sanction the application of corporal punishment;

m.    Decentralize the provision of Legal Aid to reach those outside the capital Harare;

n.      Take adequate measures to ensuring the enforcement of court judgments;

o.      Encourage the government of Zimbabwe to ratify international and regional human rights instruments, including the Additional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Additional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption;

p.      Ensure that policies, laws and all administrative measures taken by the government take into consideration the views of all, including opposition political parties, civil society organizations and interest groups;

q.       Forward, as soon as possible, to the Secretariat of the African Commission, its written responses to the unanswered questions posed by Members of the African Commission during the examination of the Report;

r.        Take appropriate measures to ensure the timely submission and presentation of the next Periodic Report of Zimbabwe to the African Commission in May 2009, having consulted, in its preparation and content, as many ministries, departments, agencies and non-governmental agencies, as possible.

  Accra, 29 May 2007