UK and USA major violators of human rights in Zimbabwe-former minister


The United Kingdom and the United States are the major violators of human rights in Zimbabwe because sanctions which they imposed on Harare more than two decades ago are causing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Clemence Chiduwa said some of the rights that have been infringed because of sanctions are:

  •     the right to life
  •     the right to development
  •     the right to work
  •     the right to health
  •     the right to food
  •     the right to housing
  •     the right to water and sanitation
  •     the right to education
  •     the right to clean and safe environment
  •      the right to human dignity
  •     the right to free trade
  •     the right to social protection
  •    the right to identity
  •    the right to free and fair elections.

Chiduwa said sanctions had also divided the people of Zimbabwe along political lines as they saw things differently.

Below is Chiduwa’s contribution during the debate on a motion calling for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The primary reason for and objective of the liberation war which was waged against the settler colonial occupation in pre-independent Zimbabwe was the restoration of land, forcibly seized by settlers from the indigenous Zimbabweans, without compensation over the century-long colonial occupation of Zimbabwe. 

It is important to underscore the cardinal importance of land to Zimbabwe, considering that it defines our identity as Zimbabweans and concomitantly its right for self-determination as enshrined in Article 27 of the United Nations (UN) Charter. When the Lancaster House Agreement was consummated, it was agreed that a cessation of hostilities, which then led to independent Zimbabwe was going to lead to the Land Reform Programme. Zimbabwe was committed to an orderly Land Reform Programme as long as the compensation for land was going to be done by the UK Government. 

Unfortunately, what then triggered the invasion was a statement which was submitted to the then Minister of Lands, the late Hon. Kumbirai Kangai, which was submitted by Clere Short. When Clere Short said, ‘I am an Irish and I am also a victim of what you went through as Zimbabweans’, because of that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the cost of land purchase. This was just a small paper which was submitted to the then Minister of Lands by Clere Short. So from there they denied responsibility for funding land but as I said in my prefix, the main reason why we waged the liberation war was because we wanted our land back.  

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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