Call to Pressure Zim Over Diamond Abuses

The international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP) is this week being urged to put pressure on Zimbabwe to address ongoing human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

The call from a leading human rights organisation comes as the KP's annual meeting got underway in the United States, which now holds the group's rotating chairpersonship position.

That meeting is set to discuss mining and trading of conflict diamonds across the globe, and it is hoped KP members will push for critical reform of the monitoring body.

UNHCR Chief Arrives in Zimbabwe

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), Navi Pillay, has arrived in Zimbabwe on the first mission to the troubled Southern African nation by the world human rights chief.

The country’s Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, says that Pillay will meet with President Robert Mugabe, political leaders and rights groups.

Chinamasa has told the reporters that, the country, which denied the UN torture investigator entry at the Harare airport in 2009 after claims the visit was not officially cleared, has ‘nothing to hide’.

UN Rights Chief Visits Zimbabwe

Navi Pillay, chief of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), will visit Zimbabwe next week as President Robert Mugabe seeks to dispel charges that Harare is a major rights violator.

Pillay will be the first UN rights chief to visit the country and is invited by the ZANU-PF-led government, which in 2009 expelled Manfred Nowak, a former UN rights investigator.

Zim Slams SA Court’s Ruling

Zimbabwe's justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has denounced a South African court's ruling ordering an investigation of those accused of torturing ZANU-PF opponents.

Chinamasa points out that, “The ruling brings the South African justice system into disrepute. No specifics have been identified, because they should have laid a blow-by-blow account of what crime has been committed.”

Ncube Awarded for Press Freedom Contribution

The Zimbabwean chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has recognised Mail & Guardian owner, Trevor Ncube, for his contribution to press freedom in Zimbabwe.

MISA Zimbabwe’s senior programmes officer, Nyasha Nyahuku, says that the organisation presented Ncube with the award for his role in providing Zimbabweans with alternative platforms for critical, alternative views on social, economic and political issues.

Zim Groups Protest Cops' Bail for Murder

Zimbabwean youth groups are condemning the release on US$50 bail for each of six policemen accused of beating a mineworker to death.

The Zimbabwe Youth Forum says that their release shows bias in courts, considering a youth leader and 28 alleged accomplices in the prime minister’s party have remained in jail awaiting trial for nearly a year on allegations of murdering a policeman.

NGO Unhappy With Fund Cancellation

Humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has expressed regret at the cancellation of Round 11 of the Global Fund assistance to Zimbabwe.

The organisation says that the latest development will reverse all the gains made in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in that country.

MSF head of mission in Zimbabwe, Paul Foreman, points out that his organisation has ratcheted up pressure on the Global Fund to find ways of ensuring the gains made so far would ‘not go down the drain’.

Zimbabwean Governor Bans NGOs

The governor of the Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe has banned charitable organisations, spelling doom for the donor-dependant locals.

Governor Titus Maluleke, a loyalist to President Robert Mugabe, accuses the voluntary organisations of using western donor funds to campaign clandestinely for Mugabe's rivals.


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