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Published On: Tue, Aug 30th, 2016

Top Zimbabwe lawyer Tsunga elected VP of international human rights group

A prominent human rights lawyer Arnold Tsunga has been elected as one of the vice presidents of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH).

Arnold Tsunga

Mr Arnold Tsunga

Tsunga, a former legislator, was elected at FIDH’s 39th congress held between 25 and 27 August in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Tsunga has a long history of defending human rights and has actively participated in high profile organisations such as the International  Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) hailed Tsunga for his appointment.

Meanwhile, FIDH has condemned recent State-sanctioned human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

The organisation said it regretted “that Zimbabwe has failed to uphold the civil and political liberty provided for in its very own people-driven constitution”.

It called for an immediate end of all forms of violence against citizens who have been trying to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government for failed leadership through peaceful demonstrations.

It condemned attempts by government security forces to silence protesters by seeking to bar demonstrations that would have been cleared by the courts.

The Mugabe establishment has recently come under immense pressure from increasingly impatient citizens who have been protesting against poor governance.

Last week, police descended heavily on citizen protesters and political parties that had been cleared to march for electoral reforms.

The law enforcement agents, who later received army reinforcements, used tear smoke, water cannons and baton sticks to disperse the demonstrators.

FIDH called on Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads who are meeting in Mbabane, Swaziland, between Tuesday and Wednesday this week to “insist that Zimbabwe upholds its obligations to respect, fulfill and protect the human rights of its citizens”.

The People’s Democratic Change (PDP) on Monday issued a statement that described the Zanu PF government as a police State.

“The successive police brutality in Harare portrays that Zimbabwe is now a police state and that the Zanu PF government wants to declare war on citizens and a state of emergency.

“The brutality exhibited by the police over the past few days show that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has failed to transform itself from a vicious colonial force over 36 years after independence,” said PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume.

“As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we strongly condemn this gross abuse of human rights violations by the state and non-state agents.

“We also denounce the use of threats of violence by Zanu PF youths who were on Sunday in the presence of the police and yet no action was taken,” he added. Nehanda Radio