rights

Activist Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ New Bill

Activists in Uganda have warned that a ‘dangerous’ new bill seeking to regulate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would silence critics and “negate the very essence of freedom of association and expression.”

Rights groups say the proposed NGO bill would grant sweeping powers to the government, including the ability to shut down activist groups and jail members.

Dlamini-Zuma Condemns Violent Attacks

African Union Commission chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says that nothing warrants the senseless attacks on people, no matter what the challenges.

Dlamini-Zuma, who describes the attacks of foreign nationals in the province of KwaZulu-Natal as ‘unacceptable, is calling for an immediate halt, while expressing ‘deep concerns’.

Police Not Making Progress on Missing Activist

Rights lawyers say police in Zimbabwe claim they have no new information on the fate of missing activist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted more than six weeks ago.

In a press statement, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights states that police say “doors are open for any eventualities,” which is critical of what it sees as the force's failure to provide real details of their investigations so far.

Zimbabwe police insist in a report submitted to the high court in Harare that it they are pursuing all possible avenues in trying to find the 35-year activist.

MPs Freed to Fight Xenophobia

Parliament has suspended its plenary sittings for next week to allow MPs to go to their constituencies and combat xenophobia.

Important portfolio committee meetings tasked with passing the budget in time will continue‚ but full plenary meetings of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces have been suspended to free up MPs.
The decision was taken by the multi-party chief whips' forum this week and has the support of all major political parties.

Rights Lawyer Slam Xenophobia

Human rights advocate, George Bizos, says it is unbelievable that a country like South Africa, which had fought against inequality and hatred, could show such cruelty.

Bizos was quoted as saying that, "The xenophobic attacks... have shocked many South Africans, me included," during his keynote address on a discussion on ethics at the University of South Africa.

Bizos adds that many African countries had supported the struggle and good relationships had been maintained with those countries as South Africa entered democracy.

Groups Urge Govt to Tackle Xenophobia

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the International Federation for Human Rights are calling on the government to reinforce their human rights-based legal framework in order to prevent and redress human rights violations against migrants.

LHR spokesperson, Patricia Erasmus, points out that there are too many misconceptions about foreigners, adding that, "It does not take into account the circumstances under which people document themselves in South Africa.”

CSOs Tell Govt to Stop Mining Diamond

The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) and Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT) are deeply concerned that government is going ahead with merging Marange diamond companies without consulting key stakeholders.

Government has finally acknowledged that diamond mining companies in Marange have not been transparent.

This means consolidating the same companies into one unit will not improve transparency since the same players will import their corrupt practices into the new entity, says a statement by the two non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

SADC NGO Condemns Xenophobic Attacks

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of NGOs has condemned the spate of deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The SADC Council of NGOs based in Gaborone, Botswana says the recent attacks should be ‘condemned in the strongest possible terms’ by all peace-loving people.

The organisation states that, “The events have erupted from simmering anger and hostility in South Africa as people lash out in violence against other Africans for what they perceive as the undue advantages they enjoy.”

Malawi May Repatriate Citizens from SA

The Malawian government states that it would help repatriate its citizens from South Africa following an outbreak of xenophobic violence in Durban that has left four people dead.
 
Malawi’s information Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, warns that, "The situation is really tense as about 360 Malawians are stranded in South Africa following xenophobic attacks there."
 
He further adds that the Malawians targeted have "lost everything", including their passports.
 

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