Outcry Over Shrinking Civil Society Space In Zimbabwe

A local youth group, the Nation Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO) has urged government to enact legislative measures that guarantee freedom of association amid concerns of continued human rights abuses perpetrated by the state on citizens.

Recently, government banned a Masvingo-based Civil Society Organisation (COTRAD) while a host of civil society leaders were arrested and detained in connection with the January shutdown protests that rocked the country.

Addressing a press briefing in Harare on Tuesday morning,  NAYO programs manager Macdonald Munyoro, said “Government and its agents should respect and uphold the Nairobi Outcome Document and the Busan Partnership Agreement which recognizes civil society as an independent development partner.”

“Government should respect and uphold civil rights of students within tertiary institutions as there is a shrinking academic space within tertiary institutions…” he said

The association also decried the banning of a planned youth protest march as well as the attack on journalists including 263Chat reporters who were recently teargassed by the police while sitting in their office.

Under its recommendations to the government, NAYO said “Government through the Parliament of Zimbabwe should repeal both the AIPPA and POSA.

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