Home » Human Rights » Zimrights Defends Chinotimba’s Award

ZIMRIGHTS has defended the 2014 Human Rights Awards which honoured ZANU PF MP Joseph Chinotimba saying the process was “independent and transparent” and “was open to every Zimbabwean.”

Chinotimba won the People’s Choice Award sparking an outcry from Civil Society activists who thought it was wrong to honour the war veteran who is known to have led violent farm invasions which claimed lives and displaced thousands of people.

But ZimRights responded to say the ceremony went well although, “despite the hard work”, the event “has however been overshadowed by the People’s Choice Award.”

The human rights body said the People’s Choice Award is not a Human Rights Defender Award but is an award “linked to the raising of pertinent developmental issues in the nation using platforms that one has access to.”

A statement from the body said: “The nominees were selected by the people in all ZimRights’ eleven provinces and when votes were tallied Hon Chinotimba emerged as the winner.”

The ZANU legislator beat Radio and TV Talk Show host Rebecca Chisamba, Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko and MDC-T MP Jessie Majome to the award.

ZimRights also said they are aware that some of the nominees have a past which has created discomfort among their key constituencies.

“The past relates to issues of impunity and alleged human rights violations which as an organisation, we have also at some point recorded and raised.

“We therefore state that notwithstanding the outcome, when a selection criterion has been set we cannot deviate from it because we do not agree with result.

“We however believe that we all at some point must account for our actions through the appropriate for a.”

ZimRights said they take this result as a challenge and lesson on future education and human rights voting.

The 3rd Edition of the Community Human Rights Defenders Award was held in Bulawayo last week on Thursday. The Overall Human Rights Defender of the Year was awarded to Rebecca Chisamba, a television talk show host said ZimRights.

It is not clear what has endeared Chinotimba to the people but a few months ago the comical legislator arrived in Victoria Falls where he bought 200 cases of beer for the revellers at a local beer garden.

Chinos, as the Buhera South MP is affectionately known, also pledged to pay school fees for over 20 school children at Chinotimba School which he claims is named after his ancestor.

Source : New Zimbabwe