Second Republic committed to ensuring rights – Official
Mutare, (Pungwe News)-Government is committed to advancing social and economic rights of citizens in the Second Republic, a top legal officer has said.
Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) chief law officer Kingston Magaya said this during a disability workshop held in Mutare recently.
He said the commitment of the Second Republic is centered on cooperation and ensuring equal access to justice for all, including people with disabilities.
Magaya said through JLOS, government works with all state and non-state actors to improve administrative mechanisms that allow access to justice for all.
“The JLOS was formed to coordinate the activities of justice and access to justice. The Ministry of Justice formed the JLOS to standardize the approaches towards justice delivery and access to justice.
“When we talk about justice we are talking of issues drawn from the constitution, the bill of rights, issues drawn from the acts of Parliament and administrative mechanisms.
“The Second Republic or new dispensation is very much committed towards opening up democratic space and ensuring that there is promotion and protection of human rights and the JLOS is progressive on that one,” said Magaya.
He said JLOS had been proactive in promoting and protecting human rights by collaborating with all justice delivery actors in government and civil society.
“The JLOS involves all institutions which are in the sector of justice delivery to promote justice, including the Ministry of Justice, National Prosecuting Authority, Zimbabwe Republic Police(ZRP), Prison and Correctional Services(ZPCS) but it’s not only limited to government.
“We also have observer members in the JLOS, that is non-state actors like the National Association of Non-GovernmentalOrganization (NANGO). JLOS was formed after a realization that issues of justice delivery and access to justice was being done in a fragmented manner,” said Magaya.
“People with disability are very vital and it is important that they are incorporated in the programming mechanism of government and its part of the Transitional Stabilization Program and the Vision 2030,” said Magaya.
Dr Tarisai Mutangi, a consultant with the Ministry of Justice said domestic laws should reflect international standards captured in the United Nations Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) which aims to combat exclusion, marginalization, inequalities and stigmatization to protect inherent dignity.
Dr Mutangi said the definition of disabled person in the Disabilities Act Chapter (17:01) discriminates against people with disabilities, urging government to amend the archaic law and align it to the new constitutional provisions.
“The law in Zimbabwe is focusing on the disabled person instead of focusing on the environment that can be designed in such a way that anyone can have equal access to justice.
“While we cannot control disability, we can control the environment which the legal framework also constitute part of and government should embrace the CRPD definition and ensure that it is implemented so that there is equal access to justice.
“There is no need to isolate people with disabilities when it comes to education, if they are put in separate or special institutions that alone promotes exclusion. Anyone who has impairment should be included and the environment should be made conducive and responsive,” said Dr Mutangi.