What is We the People of Zimbabwe?
We the People of Zimbabwe is a citizen monitoring program, which has set up a structure of peace monitors across the country. In the lead up to 2018 elections in Zimbabwe, We the People has focused its efforts on understanding the pre-election environment, and any experiences of election violations which have impacted Zimbabwean citizens, particularly in rural areas.
We the People pre-election work is based on the belief that all citizens of Zimbabwe have the right to choose their political leaders in an atmosphere of peace. Our vision is to unite and mobilise Zimbabweans to ensure a peaceful, free and fair election in 2018, as the foundation for a better future. We the People of Zimbabwe believe a peaceful election will create a Zimbabwe in which a culture of peace replaces a culture of fear and enables community development.
We the People Major Findings
For the election period, We the People aimed to recruit citizens at as many polling stations as possible to monitor their communities before, during and after elections. These peace champions were trained to report violations across four basic categories: act of violence, threats of violence, people being forced to do what they do not want to do, and electoral malpractices.
The collation of data showed a high number of election violations were reported in the 7-week lead up to elections. 1,180 calls with incidents were recorded, with more than a third of those calls reporting more than one violation.
- Every Province in Zimbabwe experienced at least one pre-election violation
- Over 90% of calls were from rural areas, with only 3% from the two major cities
- 92% of violations were spread across 6 of the 8 rural Provinces
- 79% of violations were perpetrated by ZANU-PF members and supporters
- Traditional leaders, military, police and ZEC all played an important role in violations
Source: We the People of Zimbabwe (WtPZ)