Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) will from the 5 to 6 November host a National Conference on Human Rights and Access to Justice in Harare. The National Conference on Human Rights and Access to Justice will gather two 200 delegates representing civil society organizations (CSOs), government institutions, members of the diplomatic corps, independent commissions, academia and other important groupings. The Conference gives delegates a platform to discuss the key human rights issues which Zimbabwe needs to look into in the next five  years in relation to access to justice, gender, corruption,  peace and reconciliation.

The Zimbabwean government has pledged to respect the fundamental human rights and open up democratic space. Thus, the conference sets the tone for civil society organizations to engage with government and share ideas on grey areas on the thematic areas. The National Conference provides state institutions with an opportunity to share on the measures they have been taking in resolving human rights and access to justice challenges.

The Conference will be officially opened on Monday 5 November 2018 by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs; Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi. Keynote addresses will be delivered by two renowned speakers from Kenya and Malawi. The first keynote speaker will be Justice Charles Mkandawire who is President of the Commonwealth Judges and Magistrate Association and Judge of the High Court in Malawi. He will present on the opportunities and challenges in enhancing human rights and access to justice in Africa.

Kenya’s prominent lawyer Honorable Dr Otiende Amollo who was the face and brains behind Raila Odinga’s successful Presidential Petition, who is also a Member of Parliament, will present a paper on human rights and corruption in Africa. Dr Amollo is well known for his involvement in National Super Aalliance coalition’s court battles challenging the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The National Conference on Human Rights and Access to Justice will also have panel discussions on the thematic areas. Panellists have been drawn from government, independent commissions and civil society organizations.

LRF National Director, Lucia Masuka-Zanhi said discussions will focus mainly on the key human rights issues confronting Zimbabwe and what has to be done to address these issues. She said the Conference will create a platform for CSOs and State institutions to explore opportunities for collaboration in advancing Human rights in Zimbabwe in the next 5 years. She added that the Conference will also give an opportunity for CSOs to gain understanding of the position of state institutions regarding some of the human rights issues Zimbabwe is facing. This will help organizations shape their advocacy strategies which will be informed by the discussions which will take place during the conference.

The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) was established in 1984 with the aim of providing legal services to the poor and marginalized. We desire that everyone enjoys their rights, hence we disseminate legal knowledge, identify policy issues that stifle the enjoyment of human rights and work with affected communities to influence policy changes and increase citizen participation. Conscious of the importance of service providers in justice delivery, we also aim to ensure complete access through training so that everyone receives fair treatment according to the law.