Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has given his assurance that Harare will ratify the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
He gave the assurance when receiving a delegation of the African Court led by its President, Hon Justice Sylvain Oré, alongside with Judge Hon Justice Tujilane Rose Chizumila and senior Registry officials, at State House in Harare, August 15.
With this, Zimbabwe will become the thirty-first out of fifty-five AU member states to ratify this protocol. Since the adoption of the Protocol in June 1998, 30 out of 55 AU Member States have ratified it.
‘’We will act…we do not want to be left behind,’’ President Mnangagwa stated, adding that Zimbabwe strongly cherishes and values Pan Africanism and the organs that exemplify this ideal.
‘’We will ratify the protocol,’’ he stressed, while wondering why Zimbabwe had not already done so earlier. Zimbabwe had signed the Protocol in 1998 but is yet to ratify it and make the Declaration under Article 34(6) to allow its citizens to access the Court directly.
The African Court delegation while in Zimbabwe this August on a sensitisation visit at the invitation of the government, equally met with key stakeholders, including the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Speaker, the Chief Justice, and the Acting Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Bar Association, among others.
Over 50 key stakeholders attended a national sensitisation seminar followed by discussions, in Harare.
The African Court delegation conducted a similar sensitisation visit last week 7-8 August to the Union of Comoros.
For the Court to discharge its mandate effectively and further strengthen the African continent’s human rights system, the President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Hon Justice Sylvain Oré said, a greater number of countries must ratify the Protocol and make the Declaration under Article 34(6).