SALAN is back with news to its members activities from July 2015 besides their Human Rights Advocacy:
- Legal and Human Rights Centre from Tanzania has been able to file a case against the Referendum Act 2011 (law making for a new constitution): Give Zanzibaris the right to vote on Tanzanian Mainland.
In addition LHRC opened the Constitutional Database and Katiba Information Centre (katiba.humanrights.or.tz; see 2nd picture) and monitored the Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) for the upcoming General Election in October 2015. For the first time Tanzanians have been able to register in a BVR.
Seinoli from Lesotho had a case in the High Court of Lesotho in its Commercial division, where they represented a community cooperative called Khabang Lejone Multipurpose Cooperative in a matter between the cooperative and Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA). In this matter they claimed communal compensation that is due to the cooperative in a sum of over a million. Many other Local Legal Entities will receive communal compensation on behalf of their communities after they were affected by the construction of the second large dam in Africa, Katse Dam in Lesotho.
- Ditshwanelo – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights from Botswana focuses on the rights of mineworkers, ex-minors and others. In May 2015 they founded the Botswana Labour Migrants Association, which comprise former migrant mineworkers. The Association will advocate for the rights of labour migrants particularly migrant mineworkers, counsel and provide humanitarian health relief to them as well as accessing their withheld social security benefits (see 1st picture).
In April 2015, DITSHWANELO held its 15th Annual Human Rights Film Festival. There were a number of human rights issues that were dealt with at the film festival, most notably the issue of Bullying amongst school children (led to a proposed Bully Project Consultations with stakeholders).
- Legal Resources Foundation – LRF from Zimbabwe finalised a case involving corruption, referred to the LRF by Transparency International Zimbabwe. A school teacher had been targeted by the school headmaster because of his stance on corruption at the school and charged with improperly associating with scholars in order to sully his reputation. The students disclosed that they had been forced to make such reports but he was dismissed nonetheless, based on speculation that he had interfered with their evidence. The matter was taken to court and the Attorney General’s office did not file any opposing papers. He was reinstated after the LRF’s intervention.
- Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association from Zimbabwe filed a Constitutional court case on the right to life. The main objective being that the court should decide what to do with women who are on the death row as the new constitution bars the state from sentencing women to death and / or carrying out the death penalty. Their client who was in solitary confinement for four years was pardoned by the President before the conclusion of the case. This was a positive development as she is no longer on death role but on life imprisonment. ZWLA is working on appealing against this life imprisonment on the bases of the suffering that this woman faced while in solitary confinement.
Full report can be found at Publications/SALAN Publications or here.