The Government of Zimbabwe must move in to assist Zimbabweans affected by the Tembisa Tornado in Africa with basic human rights needs and provisions through close liaison and cooperation with South African authorities.

With over a million Zimbabweans holed in the Republic of South Africa as economic and political migrants and with over half of them being people of Matabeleland who were forced into South African squatter camps by the Gukurahundi Genocide, the tribalization of the economy and service delivery as well as political violence – it is evident that many of the citizens of this country are victims of this tornado that hit South Africa.

The institute has received isolated cases of people of Matabeleland who are resident in Tembisa confirming that their rights to access to shelter, clean and safe water, food and clothing have been compromised due to the tornado effects.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights therefore:

  1. Call on the Government of Zimbabwe, through the South African Consul and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to liaise with the South African authorities to investigate the number of Zimbabweans whose rights have been affected by the tornado and offer them requisite technical, material and psychosocial support and rights needs;
  2. Call on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to compel the Zimbabwean government to fulfil its duty to protect and promote citizens’ rights by investigating the numbers of Zimbabweans affected by the Tornado and offering them necessary rights assistance;
  3. Call on the Parliament of Zimbabwe especially the Thematic Committee on Human Rights and Parliamentarians from Matabeleland to compel the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a public statement on the number of Zimbabweans in South Africa affected by the tornado and measures being taken by government to ensuring that these citizens have their rights needs addressed;
  4. Call on civic society organizations concerned with human rights to join the call to compel the government of Zimbabwe to protect and promote the lives of citizens affected by the South African Tornado.

Chapter 4 Section 44 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (No.20) Act 2013 compels the state and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of the government at every level to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and freedoms set out in Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the country. The Constitution of Zimbabwe does not discriminate on the rights of Zimbabweans in the diaspora and therefore the state has a mandate.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights is an independent human rights watchdog based that exists to monitor, promote and protect the rights if the people of Matabeleland.

Statement by: The General Secretary

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights

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