She also met the UN Country team; members of various political parties; independent civil society organizations, women’s rights activists and human rights defenders; faith-based organizations; trade unions; business, small and medium-sized enterprises; employers and bankers associations; members of diplomatic community; medical personnel, university professors, independent researchers, and school teachers.
The Special Rapporteur also had the opportunity to visit Bulawayo and met its Provincial Minister, as well as representatives of the private sector, the health sector, the school and higher education sector, as well as representatives of political parties. She also conducted visits to the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Bus Corporation of Zimbabwe, which allowed to gather first-hand information on the impact of over-compliance with sanctions.
The Special Rapporteur extends her gratitude to all these interlocutors who have generously offered their time, information, analysis, experiences and thoughts to help her understand in a short time what has proved to be a very complex and alarming situation.
Although the Special Rapporteur had the opportunity to meet many representatives of independent civil society organizations and human rights defenders, she notes with regret that a substantial number of NGOs and some other interlocutors failed to engage with the mandate due to various hateful and intimidating messages that appeared in social media and news outlets, and an alleged fear of losing foreign donations. The Special Rapporteur reiterates her invitation to all interlocutors to share their views and experience on the impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights in Zimbabwe, ahead of the final report.
The Special Rapporteur commends the warm welcome and the constructive and cooperative way in which the Government facilitated her visit, which enabled a frank and open dialogue. She expresses particular thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its efficient engagement with her office. She also thanks the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s office for its support throughout the visit.
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