By Paidashe Mandivengerei
Cases of human rights abuses by the government have increased this year, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has said.
The world today (Tuesday) commemorates the International Human Rights Day, in Zimbabwe under the theme, Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.
According to the human rights body, the government is infringing on citizens rights in its failure to provide adequate living conditions due to a deteriorating economy created by poor governance and funds mismanagement.
There is no access to clean water, poor health services as doctors are on strike and supermarkets are charging exorbitantly for basic commodities.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum expressed its dissatisfaction over the manner in which the government is dragging its feet in resolving the economic meltdown.
“The Forum laments that we are commemorating the coming into effect of this milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being, against a background of a deteriorating political, economic and social environment in Zimbabwe. The Forum notes with concern the economic crisis that has resulted in the erosion of disposable income and unemployment resulting in widespread poverty primarily because of poor governance, pervasive corruption and mismanagement of funds. This has manifested in; a crippling industrial action by health care personnel in state medical facilities, currently ongoing across the country; continuous surging of prices of foodstuffs; shortages of clean water; and the right to education has also been severely affected. The Forum is particularly concerned by the lack urgency on the part of the government to resolve the economic crisis, contrary to the spirit of the Declaration we are commemorating today.
It is regrettable that while all this has been happening, the government instead has increased suppression of rights and freedoms. In particular, the freedom of expression, assembly, association and the freedom to demonstrate and petitions are severely curtailed. During the year the Forum recorded an increase in levels of violence and brutality especially against known and or perceived protestors and human rights defenders.”