Of coalitions and interfaces – Monthly Monitoring Report July 2017

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.

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. 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.

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.

Numerous human rights violations have been propelled by presidential youth interface rallies. Students have been forced to attend rallies forgoing classes resulting in right to education being violated. At the Lupane rally that was held at Somhlolo Stadium about eight schools were forced to ensure attendance of students. The schools Mabhikwa, Jotsholo and Fatima secondary schools, Lupane, Mtshibini, Kusile, and Roman Catholic primary schools. Civil and political rights have also been violated, in particular the right to freedom of association and assembly when people are forced to attend the ZanuPF rallies. ZPP recorded 34 incidences of this nature.

Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project