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NGO Forum kicks up dust over Zimbabwe judicial capture

by Staff reporter
16 Nov 2023 at 05:06hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (NGO Forum) has raised alarm over suspected judicial capture as well as politicisation of the police, saying this compromised the two key State institutions.

In its latest report titled Detention without Trial and Delayed Trials in Zimbabwe, the human rights group said judicial and police officers were failing to independently discharge their duties.

"The State should desist from politicising the role of judicial officers such that they exercise independence in the discharge of their mandate. The role of police officers in investigating cases should not be politicised by the State such that they also exercise independence in the discharge of their mandate," it said.

The organisation cited several examples of political interference in the justice system such as the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders,

"In all circumstances, respect and implement international best practices, norms and standards and ensure the protection and promotion of and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi were not picking calls despite repeated efforts.

Ziyambi has previously dismissed reports of judicial capture.

The rights defenders also raised concern over government's failure to capacitate the Independent Complaints Commission.

"The State should take concrete and cogent steps to ensure that the Independent Complaints Commission is fully capacitated and implemented so as to provide a platform for redress for victims of brutality from law enforcement officers."

Meanwhile, The United States embassy also raised concern over the growing trend of judicial persecution and the abuse of the legal system in Zimbabwe.

"The United States is deeply concerned by prolonged pre-trial detentions and a lack of due process in Zimbabwe," it posted on X.

Source - newsday