ZPP Monthly Monitor (April 2014)

Situation Report
Originally published


Executive Summary

The political environment throughout the country has remained relatively peaceful with a significant reduction in incidents of politically motivated human violations recorded during the month. There were 181 incidents witnessed in April down from the 224 cases recorded in March 2014.

The intra-party fights over leadership renewal in the MDC-T party spread throughout the provinces.
The fights included high levels of intolerance where members of the renewal faction were barred from entering the party offices. In Masvingo, MDC-T members clashed when activists led by Bernard Chiondengwa forcibly removed party property from Tongai Matutu’s premises which used to be the provincial party offices. They took the property to new offices in Rhodein as they accused Matutu and other provincial executives of belonging to the Biti faction.

Violations continued to be documented at Chingwizi refugee camp for Tokwe Mukosi flood victims as cases of sex for food were reported. Abuse of resources meant for the displaced people is reported as being rampant and that government officials are alleged to be the major culprits. There are also reports of poor sanitation and inadequate food in the refugee camp, the little relief food available is cooked in large communal pots for the entire village. If not well managed the poor sanitation that prevails in the camp can be a health disaster. Very little has been done to improve the shelter situation. The tents provided by Red Cross are inadequate, each large tent is shelter to many families and the right to privacy now appears to be a privilege.

Although the political environment is relatively calm there are reports of harassment and intimidation.
These became prevalent towards the Independence Day celebrations when Zanu PF activists forced community members and teachers to contribute towards the celebrations. These incidents were quite prevalent in Manicaland, Masvingo, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West. For example in Chegutu East Councillor Gibson Mungati and Mr Dzotsa of village 6 ward 20 were forcing people to pay $2 or a tin of maize for the Independence Day celebrations even if the person would not be able to attend. On Independence Day (April 18) shop owners around Wicklow area in Chegutu East were forced to close their shops to go and listen to the presidential speech read by the school head at Wicklow Secondary School. A war veteran called Chirisa instructed one known as Comrade Bwana to make sure shop owners closed their shops. In Masvingo between the 15th and 16th April 2014 a Mwenezi public service Inspector one Gondo a known Zanu PF sympathiser coerced civil servants to pay $5 each towards the Independence Day celebrations. He reportedly ordered school heads and other government department heads to urge their subordinates to contribute or face being labelled opposition functionaries rendering them ineligible for promotion.

Arbitrary evictions and threats of evictions continue in Mashonaland Central and Midlands respectively. At Rhimbic farm Mazowe North in Mashonaland West, two families were threatened with eviction after they went to work at a neighbouring farm. At Mandindindi farm Mazowe North, seven families were served with eviction orders for a similar reason. In the Midlands province the Gweru District Administrator is reported to have caused the eviction of a certain individual from his plot in Sino Resettlement Area on the basis of their political affiliation to MDC-T party.