Lack of resources hampering ZHRC work

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Harare (New Ziana)-Lack of human and financial resources are the main constraints impeding the Zimbabwe human Rights Commission from effectively implementing its mandate, an official has said.

ZHRC chairperson Elasto Mugwadi said this at the launch of the project to support the Commission funded by the European Union (EU) and administered through the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI).

The project will be implemented over the next three years starting this year.

“The main constraints that are impeding the effective implementation of the ZHRC mandate are lack of sufficient resources, both human and financial which if adequate would propel the Commission’s work to greater heights,” said Mugwadi.

He said according to the Paris Principles, for an NHRC to be effective, it should have adequate resources of which 70 percent ought to be provided by the government since NHRIs are State institutions.

The NHRC should be resourceful in mobilizing resources to augment the funding from the government to meet the remaining 30 percent, he said.

“And this is where development partners find a niche,” he said.

The ZHRC is one of the six Independent Commissions established in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Its mandate is to promote and protect human rights in Zimbabwe through different programmes that include Complaints Handling and Investigations; Education, Promotion and Research; and Monitoring and Inspections as well as Administrative Justice.

ZHRC therefore has a dual mandate of being a Commission for Human Rights and the Public Protector for Zimbabwe.

Other independent commissions include the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the Gender Commission, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

Mugwadi said the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1)(2021-2025) which the government adopted in November 2020, recognises that the country continues to face challenges in meeting its human rights commitments, due to inadequate financial support to key institutions responsible for ensuring good governance, the rule of law and protection and promotion of human rights.

“It is against this background that the Commission sought for additional resources and entered into partnership with the European Union and Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law,” he said.
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