MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
Statement on the Occasion of International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2014.
On the occasion of United Nations International Human Rights Day, the
Movement for Democratic Change strongly identifies with the
aspirations of Zimbabweans for a society that respects and protects
the rights of all.
The day is in recognition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
adopted in 1948. The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Human
Rights 365’, meaning that every day is a human rights day when all
people deserve to enjoy the full range of human rights.
The day is marked this year when Zimbabweans are crying out for the
full implementation of all the human rights provisions of the new
constitution. It is quite disturbing that more than a year and a half
after the new constitution was approved through referendum, many
political, economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in it are
still denied the majority of the people. The government continues to
wilfully violate these rights and to abuse state security apparatus to
suppress all forms of protest or demonstrations. Zimbabweans suffer
from rampant unemployment caused by poor state policies that are not
friendly to business and economic development. The nation suffers from
poor service delivery, characterized by shortages of basics like
electricity and water. There is widespread government corruption and a
serious crisis of expectations as people fail to access important
documents like birth certificates and passports from the national
registry unless they pay bribes.
As the legitimate aspirations of the people are trampled upon by the
people in government, we note a frightening increase in
state-sponsored violence, police brutality and abuse of the criminal
justice system to silence dissenting voices. In particular, we are
alarmed by cases of torture, harassment and threats against citizens
making legitimate demands. We would like to re-assert our commitment
to the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and the right
of all citizens to own property. We call upon the government to act
forthwith to restrain it’s officials from violating the rights of the
Finally, we demand that the Zimbabwean government fulfils all its
obligations under international law to protect human rights. We also
call upon the people to remain resolute until all their rights are
fully realised. Freedom will certainly come if we remain focussed and
Issued by Honourable Senator Lilian Timveos, Shadow Minister and MDC-T
Spokesperson for Home Affairs.