|No space for gay rights in constitution: Chinamasa|
|Friday, 06 July 2012 13:57|
ZIMBABWE has rejected a recommendation from some United Nations member states to include homosexuality as a human right in the country’s Constitution, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa said 44 other “human rights” recommendations made by the member states were also rejected because they were not consistent with the country’s values.
In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Senator Obert Gutu during a Universal Periodic Review Follow Up Workshop in Kadoma yesterday, the Minister said some of the recommendations were being made out of mischief.
The recommendations were made after Zimbabwe had presented its National Report in Geneva in October 2011 to the Human Rights Council’s Working Group where member countries were asked to make recommendations.
“Some of such recommendations are combined for mischievous reasons so that States that reject a lot of recommendations will then be viewed in bad light.
Some of the recommendations rejected include that one France which implored Zimbabwe to decriminalise “as soon as possible sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.” New Zealand had recommended for the repeal of the Public Order and Security Act, while the United States, Australia and Mexico want the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act repealed. Norway had also recommended the incorporation on human rights defenders in the national laws.
“Others require a considerable amount of resources which Government does not have,” he said.
Some of the recommendations accepted include the need to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, operationalising the Human Rights Commission and adequately resourcing it. Minister Chinamasa said ratification and domestication of unratified and undomesticated UN treaties and instruments required study to determine if there were any gaps on the existing laws.
Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr David Mangota said Governments had a right to reject recommendations which it views as absurd.