Human Rights Report (1 – 16 June 2018)

Source: 22 June 2018Elections, Human Rights

Summary of Violations

In the period under review (1 – 16 June 2018), Heal Zimbabwe recorded a total of 60 human rights violations across 20 districts. The recorded human rights violations were clustered in six categories that include intimidation, assault, partisan distribution of food aid, forced participation to political activities, disruption of political gatherings and destruction of campaign material. Intimidation continues to record the highest number of human rights violations with 78.33% (47 cases) followed by assault which recorded 10% (6 cases). Forced participation in political activities, disruption of political gatherings and partisan distribution of food aid recorded 3.33% (2 cases) each. Destruction of campaign materials recorded the least number of violations with 1.66% (1 case). Political developments contributing to these violations include (i) the Presidential proclamation of elections and rerun dates (ii) MDC-T primary elections, (iii) political party rallies (ruling and opposition) (iv) ZANU PF community structures meetings, (v) BVR system and (vi) food handouts from the Department of Social Welfare.

We note that intimidation remains the major human rights violation used by most perpetrators across the country. A total of 47 cases of intimidation were recorded in this report, one case higher than in the previous report where 46 cases were recorded. The continuous domination of intimidation is worrying as it directly affects peaceful coexistence amongst citizens and free participation in democratic processes ahead of the forthcoming general elections. Most forms of intimidation observed include direct threats of past electoral violence (largely the 2008 rerun violence) which left a trail of destruction as people lost lives, some injured, maimed and property seized or destroyed. Other threats include threats of evictions, seizure of property and withdrawal of food aid and inputs. Heal Zimbabwe further observed that whilst threats of past violence continue to be issued, another emerging form of intimidation followed the military takeover of November 2017. Identified perpetrators issues threats of violence from soldiers on all who oppose the ruling ZANU PF party. This threat is largely issued by ZANU PF leaders, war veterans and traditional leaders.

Heal Zimbabwe observed that in this reporting period most victims were both ruling and opposition party supporters and ordinary community members. In view the observed cases, Heal Zimbabwe calls for peace and tolerance. We reiterate that intimidation leads to a fearful society and hinder efforts towards peace, social cohesion and free participation in democratic processes.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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