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Zimbabwe protests AU decision to probe human rights record

[JURIST] Joram Gumbo, a Zimbabwean delegate to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) [official website] and member of the ruling party of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile], expressed outrage and contempt Sunday for the African organization's decision [press release] to send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe to investigate allegations of ongoing human rights abuses. Gumbo referred to the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union's legislative arm, as a "noise-making" institution and argued that far worse situations existed in Africa and that the PAP should be focusing their attention on those countries, rather than Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. Gumbo warned that the PAP was still required to send a letter of intent to the Zimbabwean government announcing their formation of an investigation mission and that the government was under no obligation to permit the fact-finding team into the country.

The PAP voted [ZimOnline report] 149-20 Friday in favor of sending a "fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe to investigate matters relating to human rights, good governance, transparency and the rule of law pertinent to the mandate of the Pan African Parliament," marking the first time in the organization's history it has agreed on sending a mission into another African nation. SAPA has more.

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