“Revolutionaries Are The Real Human Rights Defenders” at least in the view of some in Zimbabwe

April 12, 2013

Via AllAfrica.com I came across a lengthy Opinion piece in the Herald of 11 April 2013 which is basically a rant against human rights in general and human rights defenders in general. Normally I would not want to pay much attention to these outdated views but in all fairness this blog on human rights defenders should also give space to those who are diametrically and fundamentally opposed to human rights.

That the authors write from a nationalistic perspective is clear, not only from the language used and the names mentioned but also from the reference to HRD Beatrice Tele Khalalempi Mnzebele (“a shameless white apologist”) as a foreigner from…. Swaziland. Race is a constant element in the piece by equating ‘western’ and ‘white’. The rest of the terminology is reminiscent of the cold war days (‘neo-liberal prophets of democracy “), cultural relativism (“As Africans, we believe that it is the community that protects and nurtures the individual“) and slogans (“human rights are merely an instrument of Western political neo-colonialism and imperialism“). One of the most striking features is the almost total absence of alternative value systems. The closest the authors come to it is when they state: “It is therefore our argument that the value of human rights should be re-examined by affirming the differences between human beings, in acknowledging that we are all influenced by a myriad of different factors, such as our social, political, and cultural backgrounds. Human rights should be established based on the uniqueness of each and every human being, rather than on myopic neo-liberal assumptions propounded by Beatrice and her Western friends.” It contains a ringing endorsement of the uniqueness of each human being – so dear to the neo liberals – but no much more that could constitute a different overarching system. Not a word about the African Charter, about misled (?) countries such as South Africa or Ghana. Instead the opposition to Mugabe is described as: “thugs and all sorts of assorted MDC-T delinquents”.

But for those who want to read the whole piece here is the link the opinion written by Bowden Mbanje and Darlington Mahuku, who – believe it or not – are lecturers in international relations, and peace and governance with Bindura University of Science Education.

One Response to ““Revolutionaries Are The Real Human Rights Defenders” at least in the view of some in Zimbabwe”


  1. […] “Revolutionaries Are The Real Human Rights Defenders” at least in the view of some in&nb… […]


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