CIO, Army, ZRP, Zanu PF worst abusers

Zimbabwe's political environment remains tense with a leading rights organisation saying President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and state security organs were dominating the perpetrators list of human rights violations.

According to the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), which documents and publishes cases of rights violations every month, Zanu PF, in March this year, remained the most hostile political party, accounting for over 80 percent of the violations.

There were 123 violations which had 318 victims altogether.

The Jestina Mukoko led NGO said cases of human rights abuses by members of the National Army, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Central Intelligence Organisation were high during the month of March.

“The police made up 6% of perpetrators, the army 4.3%; while suspected members of the Central Intelligence Organisation made up 0.4%,” reported the ZPP.

Most of the violations, according to rights based organisations and the opposition have been committed when the state apparatus is used by the ruling party to suppress opponents and critics.

In the period leading up to the 2008 elections, the country’s service chiefs, in their official capacity, shocked the nation when they declared loyalty to then Zanu PF presidential candidate, President Mugabe.

In its March human rights violations report, ZPP says unlike in the past years, most of the victims of the human rights violations by the state were members of the newly formed Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) which is led by former Zanu PF and national vice president, Joice Mujuru.

The organisation also said while opposition members topped the victims list, they were also found among some of the violators with Tendai Biti’s PDP a surprise feature in list.

“March showed of 235 perpetrators, 80.4% were from Zanu-PF, which always leads month after month,” reads the report.

“MDC-T had 6.8 % of the perpetrators, while MDC party which is led by Welshman Ncube had 0.4 perpetrators.

“It is interesting to note that People’s Democratic Party (led by Tendai Biti) posted its own numbers of perpetrators at 1.3%. These were mainly a result of intra-party conflict which has also reared its ugly head in the relatively young PDP.”

The ZPP releases monthly reports of political violations which include murder, rape, intimidation, denial of food hand-outs, among other transgressions.

It gathers its information through reports from its 420 community-based monitors (two per each of the 210 electoral constituencies of Zimbabwe).

Zanu PF has often dismissed NGO reports linking it to rights violations, saying the Western sponsored groups were being paid to tarnish the ruling party’s image.