Police train in upholding Human Rights for elections

May 2, 2019

As a law enforcement mechanism, police have a key role to play in protecting, upholding and realisation of Human Rights for all. (Photo: UNDP Zimbabwe/Tsvangirai Mukwazhi)

Harare, 2 May 2019 - 30 police trainers recently took and completed a comprehensive, revised course on Human Rights, Elections and Policing.

The police officers, drawn from Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Training Departments from all the countries’ 10 provinces, took part in the 5-day intensive course focusing on human rights policing, community policing, policing in elections, gender and policing among other matters.

Speaking to at the official launch of the course, Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General Mind Elliot Ngirandi reminded course participants of the police's key role of protecting the everyone's rights equally, as required by the Constitution. He stated that that ZRP is on an aggressive rebranding process in order to build and restore confidence and trust in the police service and thus these efforts hinge on human rights policing imperatives.

"All police officers need to be conversant, and be able to hold peoples rights at all time" Deputy Commissioner General Ngirande added.

UNDP Resident Representative Georges van Montfort also echoed these sentiments adding that "a peaceful election environment is recognized as a critical aspect of a credible election and the ZRP plays an important role to ensure that the pre-election, election day and post-election environment ensures freedom of assembly and freedom of speech and provides equal opportunities to campaign for contesting candidates."

He also reiterated UNDP's commitment to "remain available to avail relevant technical and other resources for the achievement of those commitments."

Officials from UNDP, UN Women and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) facilitated the course. ZEC's Deputy Chairmain Emmanuel Magade encouraged the course participants to contribute towards "a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness in the next elections."

The Zimbabwe Gender Commission and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission also provided additional facilitation during the course as key institutions mandated to promote and enforce human eights.

The 5-day course covered topics such as observing fundamental human rights, duties and responsibilities of police during elections,  gender and law enforcement, and international standards relevant to elections.

UNDP, with support from the European Union and Government of Japan, partnered with the Zimbabwe Republic Police through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Capacity Building project to provide training of the revised human rights course.

The 30 police trainers are now expected to cascade the human rights training to their respective provinces as part of the programme’s roll out strategy.