Human Rights Council
15 June–3 July 2020
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, conducted an official visit to Zimbabwe from 17 to 27 September 2019 to assess the situation of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the country, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 15/21 and 41/12.
Following two introductory sections, in sections III and IV the Special Rapporteur refers to a number of good practices and challenges in law and in practice regarding the exercise of the rights under his mandate.
Finally, in section V, the Special Rapporteur offers his conclusions and recommendations.
The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, visited Zimbabwe from 17 to 27 September 2019 at the invitation of the Government. The purpose of the visit was to assess the exercise, promotion and protection of the rights under his mandate in a moment of transition following the adoption of the new Constitution in 2013 and the recent change of leadership.
The Special Rapporteur valued the invitation extended to him and the relevance of being the first special procedure mandate holder to visit the country. In his view, this is a gesture of the State’s willingness to engage with the international community in a frank, constructive and open way in order to improve the human rights situation in the country. He therefore presents his findings in a spirit of shared commitment, supporting the efforts that Zimbabwe has undertaken on its path towards the change of a new regime.
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government for its cooperation before, during and after the visit. He had constructive discussions with high-ranking government officials, and members of the parliament and of the judiciary. He also held meetings with representatives of independent institutions, international organizations and the diplomatic corps and with a wide range of civil society representatives.
The Special Rapporteur held meetings in Harare and outside the capital where he met with government and local authorities. He travelled to: Bulawayo, where he met with the Minister of the State of Bulawayo and with its Mayor; Hwange, where he met with a group of women advocating for the right to freedom of peaceful assembly; and Mutare,
Arda Transau and Marange, where he met with the Minister of the Province of Manicaland, the Mayor of Mutare and with local chiefs.
The Special Rapporteur expresses his appreciation to the staff of the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office, the country team and to the Human Rights Adviser for their excellent and invaluable support during the preparation and conduct of the visit.
The Special Rapporteur believes that the effective enjoyment of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association is particularly important and timely in Zimbabwe, in light of the most recent political changes.