Harare – Herald – 22 October, 2014
Information, Media and Broadcast Services Deputy Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, has hailed the Zanu-PF leadership for delivering human rights the country is now enjoying after a protracted liberation struggle. He said the human rights issue was part of Zanu-PF’ s discourse, which inspired it to wage the armed struggle to liberate the country from colonial bondage.
Deputy Minister Mandiwanzira made the remarks while addressing the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission workshop in Harare yesterday.
The objective of the workshop was to explore strategies of enhancing constructive engagement between ZHRC and the media through creating structured platforms for effective and efficient discharge of the commission’s mandate across the country.
It also sought to enhance visibility of the ZHRC as the lead institution in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
“It is the leadership that brought our independence that is responsible for the human rights that we enjoy today. They are responsible for the human rights,” said Deputy Minister Mandiwanzira.
“They are the ones who guaranteed and brought those human rights. Nobody else, not NGOs, in fact they were not there when one man, one vote was being fought for, when people fought for the rights to walk along First Street, to set up businesses in certain areas when that right was denied.”
In this regard, Deputy Minister Mandiwanzira said, the Government was committed to give priority to issues of human rights.
“We believe in human rights because our founding fathers fought for human rights. They brought us independence, they brought us the freedoms we are now enjoying today and as a Government and as ministers, we take an oath of office to uphold our country’s Constitution and that Constitution guarantees human rights to every Zimbabwean,” he said. “Human rights is Zanu-PF discourse, it is part of the ruling Government’s discourse, it is not the opposition’s. It is ours.
“So we are for human rights and we support the work the ZHRC is doing.”
He urged the media to work with the commission for Zimbabweans to understand the operations of the ZHRC.
Deputy Minister Mandiwanzira also advised the ZHRC to take some of the negative reports some journalists would write as positive for their noble cause.
“I want to assure you that when journalists come to a function like this they are always looking for the negatives and this is one rare case where the negatives are going to be positive,” he said.
Deputy Minister Mandiwanzira, however, appealed to journalists to desist from thinking that issues of human rights were restricted to allegations of Zanu-PF supporters having beaten up opposition supporters. Human rights, he said, involved a lot of issues and journalists should take responsibility to educate and inform the public about their rights.