ZPP Monthly Monitoring Report: Human Rights Violations (February 2017)
Floods that have hit the country especially in the southern parts of the country particularly Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North and Bulawayo have left an estimated 250 people dead and thousands homeless. Thousands of people particularly in Tsholotsho have been displaced.
Crops, livestock and other property were destroyed by the rains. Schools and other infrastructure such as bridges have been destroyed in some parts of the country cutting off children from their schools and health facilities. Those already in need of food aid cannot be reached because of the flooded roads.
The Air Force of Zimbabwe has deployed helicopters to rescue survivors but the floods have exposed government’s poor state of disaster preparedness.
The rights to life, personal security, housing, health and education have been compromised by the floods.
Although the floods are a natural disaster which cannot be blamed on the government, the responses to the disaster have exposed the government which has now appealed for international help.
In Matabeleland North the hardest hit areas of Sipepa include Mahlosi, Mahlaba, Thamuhla,
Mbamba, Mele, Lutshome, Maphili and Mbanyana.
Over sixty families have been displaced resulting in them being housed at a camp. Five (5) schools were flooded forcing children to abandon their studies. In Matabeleland South a total of 4 schools were shut down after they were affected by the floods.
Matabeleland South also hosted the 21st February Movement celebrations in Matopos and this resulted in the closure of schools. School children were ordered to attend the event while other violations such as harassment and intimidation and deprivation of property were recorded in the region.
In other provinces that have not been affected by the floods the usual violations were recorded. There were cases of political violence, deprivation of food and denial of rights to education and health care on partisan political grounds.
People continue to be deprived of food mainly by ruling Zanu PF functionaries on allegations that they are opposition supporters. In Mashonaland Central two people had their farms invaded after they defected from Zanu PF to Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF).
In a bizarre case, a citizen was harassed for wearing a t-shirt that appeared to mock President Robert Mugabe’s birthday. People were forced to contribute between $1 and $2 for the President’s birthday celebrations across the country.
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) report for February reveals a total of 147 violations up from last month’s 108 cases. The month under focus had 663 victims altogether. Of these victims, those from the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) were 44 people 6,5 %, and those affiliated to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) stood at 1, 8% which translates to 12 people. Victims affiliated to the MDC-T declined while those affiliated to ZimPF increased.
90.8 % of the victims did not reveal their political affiliations. This suggests that political violence is no longer targeted to known political parties but against those who may be politically inactive.
A total of 663 victims and 139 perpetrators were recorded. 62,2% of the victims were male while 37, 8% were females. 89,9% of the perpetrators were male while 10,1 % were female.
One hundred and nineteen (119) perpetrators were affiliated to the ruling Zanu PF party which is 85, 6 % of the figure. Fifteen (15) perpetrators could not be established which party they were affiliated to and the remaining 5 perpetrators are members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.