Human Rights in Zimbabwe
Professor Bartram S. Brown was a member of the delegation of experts sent by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) to conduct a two week mission to Zimbabwe in June 2011. The goal was to investigate the progress of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. The delegation met with Prime Minister Morton Tsvangirai, with other cabinet members from both parties, and with many representatives of local NGOs and lawyers' groups in and around the cities of Harare, Mutare, and Bulawayo.
The subsequent report, ZIMBABWE: TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH was released in September of 2011. It illustrates how the rule of law is still under threat in many areas in Zimbabwe. The issues of independence of the Attorney-General and the judiciary and justice for victims of violence during the 2008 elections remain current and must be addressed before the next elections.
The report was released in conjunction with the third anniversary of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), a power sharing agreement between Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The report makes recommendations to the government of Zimbabwe, the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the wider international community. Among the recommendations, the IBAHRI insists on the necessity of respecting the provisions of the GPA and finalising a road map for its implementation, and completing the constitution-making process. The IBAHRI believes that SADC, as a guarantor of the GPA, needs to ensure the agreement is fully respected and the conditions are established for free and fair elections.