- Executive summary
Public knowledge of socio-economic and political rights, and available channels to access these rights increased through several initiatives by the consortium. These involved litigation, lobby and advocacy, materials production and dissemination, outreach programmes, radio programmes, press statements, commemoration events and the work of peer educators and volunteers. This empowered people to participate in Constitution making and enabled opinion making on transitional justice and the role of the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation. A total of 8 519 people in 2010 - 2011 from 8 426 reached in 2009 - 2010 were informed about domestic violence and options for redress under the law in the targeted communities.
Consequently 1,090 women experiencing violence, inheritance, custody and divorce disputes asserted their rights – 103 reporting cases at Murambinda magistrates’ court in 2010 alone from no case at all in 2009. The Forum continued to litigate against perpetrators of human rights violations and handled a portfolio of 602 cases during the reporting period, 220 of these involving the Commissioner General of Police and the Minister of Home Affairs and 37 involving the Minister of Defense in their official capacities. The Forum has recorded 80% success in its litigation.
However, State compliance to court orders and judgments has been as low as 1%.
Because of this, the Forum started working on alternative access to justice and dispute resolution methods to complement its formal litigtion work and ensure victims access justice.
Capacity to interpret the law correctly and support citizens to access their constitutional rights by law enforcement agencies increased. Some magistrates’ courts as a result now use their discretion to hear cases with a monetary value of over $2000, which ordinarily falls under the jurisdiction of the High Court. This enabled women to access justice easily as the High Court has complex procedures and requires lawyers.
The consortium and human rights defenders strengthened their capacity to engage in activities that build sustainable good governance. There is now more engagement with the media to disseminate information, community participation in the monitoring of rights violations and outreaches to access potential beneficiaries who have limited capacity to approach CSO offices in urban areas. In a bid to improve documentation of rights violations and systems of data management, staff have benefited from continuing training in data collection and presentation. Efforts have also been made to improve verification of data on human rights violations to avoid losing credibility through publication of erroneous data.
To effectively monitor impact of activities, the consortium conducted two consortium performance reviews and a series of meetings held with management and programme staff to identify challenges and map the way forward. A mid term review to assess the performance of the programme was carried out by an independent consultant. It established that significant achievements have been made, although more could still be achieved. The public has been getting opportunities to influence policy and legislation through materials produced aimed at educating them, and consultative meetings. During the Constitutional consultative process 435 000 women and 410 000 men attended 4 942 outreach meetings. Regardless of these successes state sponsored violence is still on-going but reduced. Main challenges and risks that have faced the programme included:
Staff turnover creating skills vacuums in the the programme.
Staff and data security threats amid state crackdown on human rights CSOs.
Uncertainty over the future of CPs registered as Trusts and Common Law Universitas.
Failed implementation of most terms of the GPA, and consequent discord in government policy implementation and compliance.
The prospect of elections in 2011 created tension. War veterans and ZANU PF youth continued to be engaged in acts of violence and intimidation.
In spite of these challenges, achievements made show that GTF312 programme objectives can be achieved before the completion date of the programme. The consortium also continues to carry out risk assessments and device innovative ways of ensuring the goals of the programme are realised notwithstanding the harsh opertaional environmnent.