Commissions Watch

ZHRC Press Statement on
the Planned Demonstrations

17 August 2019

COMMISSIONS WATCH
ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
[17th August 2019]
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE
ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ON
THE PLANNED DEMONSTRATIONS
The following press statement was issued by the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission on 15th August 2019 ahead of the mass demonstrations
planned for 16th August.

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ON
THE PLANNED DEMONSTRATIONS
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) is one of the Independent
Commissions supporting democracy in Zimbabwe. Independent Commissions are
mandated, among other objectives, to support and entrench human rights and democracy,
protect the sovereignty and interests of the people, and promote constitutionalism as
provided at Section 233 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The Commission has taken note of plans by the Movement for Democratic Change
(Alliance) to organise demonstrations with effect from 16 August 2019. The freedom to
demonstrate and petition is guaranteed under Section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
In providing for such rights the Constitution goes further to state that these rights must be
exercised peacefully. The Commission emphasizes that if such demonstrations do occur,
these rights must be exercised responsibly. It is clear that the Constitution does not only
protect the right of every person in Zimbabwe to demonstrate but also places a
responsibility on the demonstrators, as indeed on any other stakeholder, to uphold peace.
The ZHRC therefore takes this opportunity to call upon the organisers of the planned
demonstrations to put in place measures that will ensure the maintenance of peace and
respect of other people’s rights. The maturity of a society’s democracy is measured by
the ability to tolerate differences in opinion, political persuasion, and expression of oneself

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