Cases of Politically Motivated Human Rights Declined in August, Says Zimbabwe Watchdog

Zimbabwe's political climate remained tense due to Wikileaks revelations, the suspicious death of former Defense Forces commander Solomon Mujuru and expected 2012 elections, the Zimbabwe Peace Project said

Chris Gande | Washington

The Zimbabwe Peace Project said politically motivated violence declined in August from July levels, but said there remains serious tension in the country.

In its monthly report for August released this week the organization said human rights violations declined from 910 in July to 720 last month.

It said the climate has remained tense due to revelations by Wikileaks which revealed division in ZANU-PF and to the suspicious death of former Defense Forces commander Solomon Mujuru, considered to be the moderate leader of a ZANU-PF faction. It said expected 2012 elections have also charged the political atmosphere.

“Another worrying development that could trigger upheavals in the country is the move by government, under the guise of implementing indigenization and economic empowerment regulations, to seize foreign owned companies, particularly mines and banks operating in the country,” the Zimbabwe Peace Project said.

The group said Midlands province posted the highest number of violations.

Secretary General Godwin Phiri of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations told VOA reporter Chris Gande that the decline in rights violations does not signal a shift toward domestic peace as the political climate remains the same.