This report is based on reports from ZPP long-term community based human rights monitors who observe, monitor and record cases of human rights violations in the constituencies they reside. ZPP deploys a total of 420 community-based primary peace monitors (two per each of the 210 electoral constituencies of Zimbabwe). These community-based monitors reside in the constituencies they monitor. They compile reports that are handed over to ZPP provincial coordinators who man the different ZPP offices in the ten administrative provinces of Zimbabwe. Upon receipt and verifications of the reports from the monitors, the provincial coordinators compile provincial monthly monitoring reports, which are then consolidated at national office into the ZPP monthly monitoring reports published in retrospect.
This report covers recorded incidents of civil and political rights violations from the ten provinces of Zimbabwe for the month of March 2015. The report also highlights the food situation in the provinces and focuses on how food and other aid continue to be used as a political tool.
It has been six weeks since pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara was abducted from a barbershop in Glen View by unidentified people. The abduction deprived Itai of all his rights and can be viewed as a strategy to spread terror within the society. Itai had been staging peaceful sit ins with some of his colleagues in Africa Unity Square as a way of communicating dissatisfaction with the country’s leadership. The insecurity generated by his disappearance is not limited to his close relatives, but also affects the nation as a whole. ZPP remains deeply concerned with the abduction and disappearance of Itai Dzamara. As an organisation whose Director and two staff members were abducted under similar circumstances in 2008, ZPP is fully aware of the anguish experienced by his family. His family alternates between hope and despair, wondering and waiting. The disappearance of Itai could be viewed as a systematic attack directed at pro-democracy activists and qualifies as a crime against humanity. The act has been described by Vice President (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa as ‘barbaric’ but most people have been concerned about the seemingly half-hearted attention the issue is being given. ZPP reiterates its calls for the Ministers of Home Affairs, State Security and Commissioner General of police and Central Intelligence Organisation Director General to comply with the High Court Order of March 13, 2015 directing them to search for Dzamara and report progress to the court every two weeks until his whereabouts are determined.
A landmark victory for the villagers in Matobo who resisted the Maleme Ranch take-over by a Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) operative Rodney Mashingaidze from a white farmer was recorded in March. The villagers claimed that Maleme Ranch was their only source of livelihood as they benefitted from the farming and poultry projects initiated by the white farmer Peter Cunningham. There was jubilation at Maleme Ranch when VP Phelekezela Mphoko announced that the government had reversed the allocation of the ranch. However, despite the victory the villagers are still apprehensive and remain suspicious that some politicians were plotting to use other tactics to get the farm and destroy their livelihoods.
The restructuring process within Zanu PF and the factionalism have continued to spur conflict within the party. In March Zanu PF restructured its cell and branch structures across the country and this process was fraught with factional fights and intimidation. The process is meant to strengthen the party ahead of the 2018 elections. Due to poor attendance at some restructuring meetings, party activists resorted to forcing people to attend and in some incidents forced individuals to take up party positions at cell level. Zanu PF factional fights continued unabated in some provinces. The MDC-T was also not spared in intra party conflicts. Inter party violence between Zanu PF and MDC-T however saw some MDC-T youths being hospitalised after suffering injuries in the scuffles.
The distribution of farming inputs and food handouts still remains highly politicised. The politicisation is mostly done by those who compile the lists, who in most cases are Zanu PF activists.
According to Section 77 (b) of the constitution; every person has the right to- sufficient food. Every person refers to all citizens regardless of political or other affiliation. If subsidised food or food handouts or other aid like the Presidential Agricultural Input for every person are availed to communities distribution to every person.