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The UK Parliament trampled on Rushwaya's human rights

by Njabulo
14 Jan 2021 at 21:31hrs | Views
Ms Henrietta Rushwaya is alleged to have attempted to smuggle gold out of Zimbabwe, late last year. She was arrested at Robert Mugabe airport. From what one has read so far, she has since been charged for that crime although her case is still pending in court.

As of today, the media has published a story that she has been granted a bail $100 000. This is good because she has the right to be granted bail like any other citizen of Zimbabwe, as enshrined in our laws. She also deserves to be respected and treated like any other person who would have committed a similar crime or any person who has been indicted for any crime or is alleged to have committed any crime.

People who are alleged to have committed a crime are not guilty at law until they are proven guilty by a competent court of law. So, the fact that she is alleged to have committed that crime, does not follow that she is guilty of that crime. The state has a burden of proof to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt, that indeed she committed that crime (alleged). The state has to adduce incriminating evidence to that effect.

There are many types of evidence that the state can use to prove its case. And if the evidence adduced is admissible by a competent court of law, then the burden of proof to rebut that evidence and the allegation, shifts to the accused (Ms Rushwaya). It's more like a pendulum. Assuming she rebuts or quashes all the allegations levelled against her, the state can try to prove beyond any reasonable doubt using another admissible incriminating evidence that could be used to justify its case.

If that is done, again Ms S and her defence team will have the burden of proof to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that she is innocent of that crime in question. At this point, for purposes of time, I cannot go into detail about this (trial). All that I am trying to explain is that she is not yet guilty of that crime until proven guilty by a competent court of law (in Zimbabwe, but not in the UK Parliament). And this has to be known by everyone.

All people are equal before the law and as such must be accorded the same respect by all. People must know that it does not matter whether the case is of great public interest or that the accused holds a public office position or that they are rich or poor.

Having mentioned the above, the UK Parliament was wrong to prejudge Ms Rushwaya. That action was prejudicial indeed. The UK government does not have the jurisdiction on criminal cases that obtain in Zimbabwe (as Zimbabwe is a sovereign state). It does not have the jurisdiction to tell the courts on how to handle criminal cases in the courts of Zimbabwe. Thus because Zimbabwe is no longer a colony of Britain any more. However, the UK can only scrutinise and comment on injustices against the citizens of Zimbabwe, in terms of human rights. And that has to be done in good faith (but not for other ulterior motives).

Conversely, Zimbabwe can do the same, but cannot start to discuss in Parliament criminal cases of individuals in the UK. Thus why, one is prompted to say that, it was wrong for the UK Parliament to discuss Ms Rushwaya's case, even before it was held in a competent court of law. That amounted to a breach of her human rights by that Parliament.

Furthermore, the UK Parliament does not have that mandate or jurisdiction to look into that case. Ms Rushwaya is a Zimbabwean citizen with absolutely no ties with the UK. Even if she was a UK citizen, still that Parliament would not have that right to do so. She was only taken advantage of because she is a black African woman and simply because the UK wanted to politicise her case. That is totally wrong in terms of law and in terms of human rights. She now has the right to question that Parliament as to why that was done.

One can imagine the Zimbabwean Parliament discussing criminal cases of Margret Thatcher's son, while there are many issues affecting the indigenous Zimbabweans that need to be discussed. After all its only an allegation at the moment. Even if her case was discussed, after being found guilty, still that Parliament was wrong to do so.

Everyone in Zimbabwe knows about the whites from England (Manning and friends), who smuggled firearms into Zimbabwe, en route to West Africa, the UK government and its Parliament, never discussed that. But that was a serious crime or issue. The Zimbabwe government handled those criminals just like any other criminal.

The Zimbabwe government did not start to make that their daily discussion in Parliament. But look at what the UK Parliament did with Ms Rushwaya. Which of the two cases is a serious one?. The answer is, one for arms was more serious as it endangered Zimbabwean people and was also a great danger to the national security of Zimbabwe.

To be honest, at the present time, there is no one newspaper in Zimbabwe that keeps attacking Britain for that. The government of Zimbabwe is also not even talking about that. If Zimbabwe does that, Britain will start to complain to the world just because white people are being discussed by blacks.

Further, the UK will even impose more sanctions against Zimbabwe for that. The UK will claim that Zimbabwe is violating the human rights of those dangerous criminals. The main issue is that of white supremacy here. Thus why blacks will not be allowed to do the same as whites against any white person from Britain and the USA. Thus why Zimbabweans would not be allowed to remind Britain of that case of smuggling arms into Zimbabwe.

If Zimbabweans start to say bad things about Manning and his friends, the UK government will even put in jail those who talk about that. While on one hand, their Parliament is trampling on the human rights of a Zimbabwean black woman.

The funny thing with their Parliament is that it does not discuss important issues of human rights violations of Zimbabweans in the UK. One Zimbabwean pensioner who used to be an engineer in Zimbabwe, before moving to the UK, was attacked with his family by a group of whites (the attack was racially motivated).

Many Zimbabweans domiciled in the UK raised that issue with their MPs, including writing directly to Parliament, but their Parliament said it was not an important issue to be discussed in that Parliament. But their Parliament has time to discuss an individual case of a Zimbabwean lady who does not stay in the UK and does not have any links with the UK. Is that not ridiculous?

So, Ms Rushwaya and the Zimbabwean government must ask that Parliament why it defamed her and why it violated her human rights.

This is my comment on this human rights violation of Ms Rushwaya, without any prejudice or favour. Please note that my comment has nothing to do with any politics. It's purely on Human Rights premise. And this comment must also not be construed to mean that Ms Rushwaya is not guilty or is guilty of the alleged crime levelled against her.

Njabulo libertyatliberty at gmail dot com.


Source - Njabulo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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