ZPP Monthly Monitoring Report: Human Rights Violations (July 2017)


Executive Summary

There has been nearly 50% increase in the number of human rights violations from 150 in June to 223 in July, as reported by Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP). This is owing to a wide array of human rights violations ranging from the right to life, political rights, right to personal security, freedom of association, freedom from arbitrary eviction, property rights and the right to food among others. Cases of theft and looting reached their highest in April when 26 cases were recorded. The numbers dropped to 18 in May, 10 in June and this month they rose notably to 23.

The violations reported in July stand out in that it is reported 10 artisanal miners lost their lives in clashes with security agents and security guards. In Mutare West and Chiadzwa conflict around the extraction of diamonds and gold has been brewing for a long time and continues to take a toll on human life. High unemployment has resulted in conflicts worsening as more people resort to artisanal mining as a means of making a living.

ZanuPF persists as the party with the highest number of perpetrators of violence. In June ZanuPF was responsible for 72.5 % of violations and the percentage reduced to 61.1 in July Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is second and responsible for 24.2% of violations compared to 18.5% in June. The total number of victims reduced from 1392 (597 females and 795 males) to 1184 (438 females, 708 males and 38 unknown). However, it is the adverse with perpetrators as the numbers increased.

There were 342 perpetrators in June and the number has inclined upwards to 435 in July. The period under review was dominated by violations that rooted partly from the presidential youth interface rallies and preparations for Heroes Day commemorations. Heroes Day is one of the events that has been highly politicised with ZanuPF supporters taking responsibility of mobilising people and resources for the day. Heroes Day is commemorated in August annually and in weeks leading ZanuPF party members and lower level office bearers have been known to coerce citizens to pool resources in their different localities.

Presidential youth interface rallies and preparations for Heroes Day commemorations led to a sharp hike of cases of intimidation and harassment from 85 in June to 141 in July.

This month ZPP received reports that government employees and business people were forced to contribute money from 50 cents upwards. In a circular that ZPP is in possession of, information was disseminated to different government stakeholders. On 21 July, Guruve District Schools Inspector, Phineas Dambudzo, convened a meeting with 86 school heads and instructed them to contribute money towards Heroes Day commemorations. See Annexure 1 for the circular sent to teachers.

Fundraising is an ongoing exercise for presidential youth interface rallies. Citizens who have been coerced to contribute $1 in Chakari and Sanyati have been told that the money is meant for transporting people to and from the presidential youth interface rally slated for Chinhoyi.

In previous rallies, for instance in Marondera and Lupane, those that went against their will have reported that no food was served; they were deserted and left to find their own way back home after the rally.