Torture of arrested persons forbidden says VP Mnangagwa

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said the torture of arrested persons is forbidden as the country is party to the international treaty against the practice.

The VP was responding to a question in the National Assembly by MDC-T MP Emma Muzondiwa who wanted him to explain if law enforcement agents were allowed to torture people under investigation.

“The government policy and legislation forbids administration and application of torture because Zimbabwe is party to the international treaty against torture,” Mnangagwa said.

“If there are specific incidences the MP must report the cases to the ministry.”

Zimbabwe has a soiled human rights record due to torture and abductions of anti-government activists.
Some of the victims of torture and abduction include Zimbabwe Peace Project boss Jestina Mukoko and
missing activist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted three years ago by suspected State security agents.

MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese said Mnangagwa must clearly explain if Zimbabwe had ratified the treaty against torture.

“The MP is correct that Zimbabwe is party to the treaty, but ratification has not been carried out,” the VP said.

In an unrelated matter Harare Central MP Murisi Zvizwai asked VP Phelekezela Mphoko to explain if his National Healing Ministry has come up with a policy to ensure healing of wounds of victims of Gukurahundi and electoral violence.

“We will be looking at five points, which include the Gukurahundi issue, reburial of victim’s remains, especially those bones that are still in the open, empowerment of victims, and issuing of birth and registration documents to the affected people,” Mphoko said without elaborating on the other points.

“We will soon make an announcement to say the Ministry of Home Affairs has set up mobile stations to issue out death and birth certificates. We will put up mass graves, and rebury those bones that are in the open because it is not allowed for people to exhume graves.”

Meanwhile, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the southern parts of Matabeleland and Midlands affected by cyclone Dineo will be declared disaster areas.

“We are also likely to have challenges of incessant rains in northern parts of Zimbabwe, and we have been working closely with the Ministry of Defence which provided us with equipment to rescue people mainly in Tsholotsho. The Social Welfare department has been ensuring food is available to the affected people and each family was supported with $200,” Kasukuwere said.

Magwegwe MP Anele Ndebele claimed rescued villagers in Matabeleland were only being given cooking oil in terms of assistance.

But Kasukuwere denied the claims saying they were given foods rich in proteins, mealie meal as well as cooking oil.

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Source: NewsDay Zimbabwe

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