(Public Statement 4/2017)
Issue Date: 26 February 2017
- Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) urges on the President of Zimbabwe Mr. Robert Mugabe to declare the current Matabeleland cyclone Dineo induced floods a Humanitarian Disaster and at the same time call for international support to empower and enable the affected communities.
- The recent Cylone Dineo floods have left a trail of destruction in most parts of Matabeleland South and some parts of Matabeleland North especially in Tsholotsho, and parts of Bulilima, parts of Mangwe, parts of Nkayi and parts of Matobo Districts.
- The negative effects of the floods include among others loss of human lives, destruction of homes, destruction of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, dams, schools, school toilets, clinics; death of livestock and destruction of crops in the fields. The cyclone has also resulted in massive vegetation destruction and environmental degradation.
- Bound and obligated by Chapter 4 Section 44 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (and other relevant Constitutional provisions) which says “The State and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of the government at every level must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and freedoms set out in the Chapter”
- It is therefore imperative for the President acting in his capacity as Head of State and government to ensure the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of the people of Matabeleland affected by the floods by way of declaring the floods a humanitarian disaster and inviting international support to alleviate the plight of the communities.
- The Institute also calls on Members of House of Assembly and Senators from Matabeleland to push for an urgent motion to urge the president to make this declaration. It is the duty of Members of Parliament to represent their Constituencies and to ensure that all agencies of the government including the Executive are accountable to the Parliament.
- Declaring the Matabeleland floods a Humanitarian Disaster is not a sign of failure and weakness on the government but of strength and care for the citizens.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights is an independent human rights think tank that exists to enhance the respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe.
The General Secretary
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights