ZPP Monthly Monitor (October 2013)

Report
from Zimbabwe Peace Project
Published on 31 Oct 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The levels of politically motivated human rights violations continued on a downward trend throughout the country with the majority of recorded cases being of discrimination and the politicisation of the distribution of farming inputs. There were 313 recorded incidents of human rights violations during the month of October down from the 389 cases witnessed during the month of September.

The post-election retribution cases continued throughout the country with hundreds of families reportedly left homeless as a result of forced evictions. Hundreds of families in Banket, Mashonaland West were left homeless after police allegedly set their houses on fire during the month of October claiming they were illegal settlers. With the rainy season setting in, the families were pushed into a desperate situation as police claimed they were illegally settled on a farm owned by a senior police officer. The top cop is reportedly stationed in Chinhoyi. The families claimed they were resettled at the farm located in Mapinga near Banket just before the July 31 harmonised elections but the situation changed just after the elections as they were ordered to vacate the property.

In a related incident, 10 families from Mukoko Farm in Mazowe South, Mashonaland Central were served with eviction orders by a Zanu PF chairperson identified as Albert Nzitsa. The ten families were to vacate their homes as a matter of urgency to pave way for the expansion of Batanai Primary School. The victims however said they were being targeted since they were very actively involved in supporting the MDC-T during the just ended elections.

The Zanu PF restructuring exercise provided a new source of conflict during the month under review with accusations of rigging and vote buying being recorded in Manicaland, Midlands and Bulawayo provinces. Intra-party violence was recorded in the period leading up to the election-day in Manicaland where an aspiring provincial youth chairperson Innocent Madya reportedly assaulted Josphat Muridzo at Buhera business centre accusing him of failing to submit his nomination papers to the election directorate because he belongs to a rival faction.

Police reacted violently to a peaceful demonstration by Hwange Colliery Mine Workers' wives demanding that the company pays their husbands’ salaries. The women argued their children have been expelled from school for non-payment of school fees after their husbands went for over 5 months without pay. The over 100 women were subjected to violent manhandling leading to many being injured and four being hospitalized at Hwange Colliery Hospital.

Skirmishes that erupted during the month of September in Bikita West have since been subdued following a Constitutional Court ruling that ordered the reinstatement of Munyaradzi Kereke as the MP for Bikita West. The ConCourt ruled in favour of Kereke on 23 October 2013. Zanu PF had earlier on called for the ouster of Kereke on the pretext that he defied the party’s hierarchy by standing against the Zanu PF’s preferred candidate of Elias Musakwa.