ROHR Zimbabwe BOT Report- year ending 2013
Our reputation as a robust human rights organisation remains intact and our credibility is growing from strength to strength. We have together triumphed over the stumbling blocks that threatened the original vision guiding our collective effort. I have nothing but admiration for what we have achieved this far. We approach the next 365 days knowing without a doubt that old ideas are the problem; old ideas do not settle new problems. New solutions demand new approaches and skills so be ready to be part of the solution.
ROHR Zimbabwe, being a member of the Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe (1,2,3), was involved in Civic Society groups’ contribution to national monitoring and supporting peaceful 2013 generalised election process in Zimbabwe. We take pride in the activism of South Africa, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe membership of ROHR Zimbabwe in this regard. Unfortunately, it was a process marred by irregularities and significant non- adherence to the SADCC Principles (4) for elections. To our dismay, the SADCC and AU observers endorsed the elections although the election process did not deliver the result required to satisfy the credibility test. ROHR Zimbabwe’s position on this matter is that this was a betrayal and indeed a failure that has compromised democratic processes in our country and which sets a very bad precedent on the continent
The election process failed to meet the FEYA FEYA Campaign (1,2,3) criterion for credible elections which is the benchmark that was set and agreed by 74 civic organisations. This was a missed opportunity to conduct a free and fair election process that could have led to the normalisation of international relations which was been squandered. Many Zimbabweans at home and abroad find themselves ending the year with anxieties about the future of the country. The signs of the failing economy and hardship are apparent just four months after the inauguration of President Robert Mugabe and the ZANU PF’s two thirds majority in Parliament.
ROHR Zimbabwe will continue taking on a proactive approach of engagement and striving towards being part of the solution. These circumstances demand that we work diligently to improve the well being of as many people as possible through safeguarding and upholding their human rights in Zimbabwe. Our priority is to ensure that the government, without delay, upholds their duty to implement to the letter all the provisions enshrined in the New Constitution 2013 (5). Chapter 111 details The Declaration of Rights (5) which is our main focus but not the exclusive one. It is imperative that these constitutional provisions come to life in law, policies and guide and inform the conduct of all individuals, organisations and institutions. It is our priority to work tirelessly to contribute fully to this end in the next five years. We must see the fruits of all the effort the organisation invested in supporting the different stages of the formulation of the constitution. As such, all our activism and projects will focus on realising the full implementation of The Declaration of Rights (5).
I want to thank all of our members, service users, strategic partners and well wishers for the on- going support. It means a lot to us and continues to motivate us to do more. I trust that you all recognise that in this our seventh year of existence, our focus needs to shift but our priorities remain the same as detailed in the founding and only ROHR Zimbabwe Constitution 2007 (6). Your continued hard work, professionalism, sacrifices and commitment has brought us triumph in the challenges we have overcome. For this the Board of Trustees thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Chairperson – Board of Trustees