Prof. Reg Austin, the head of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, quit his job on Dec. 28, citing inhibiting laws and lack of resources for the commission to carry out its mandate.

To some, this may appear as just another retrogressive ploy by “detractors” to throw spanners in the works of the Government of National Unity (GNU) formed in 2009, yet for many Zimbabweans who viewed this human rights body as a step in the right direction, this comes as a blow.

This once again exposes the lack of political will by those in positions of authority to uphold human rights. It is mind-boggling to note that, four years down the line, the commission remains under-resourced, while commissioners have their hands tied by restrictive laws making their work unbearable.

This unfortunate event also shows how difficult it is for many private organisations to operate in an inhibiting environment, if the…

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