Zimbabwe COVID-19 Lockdown Monitoring Report 28 June 2020 – Day 91

Introduction
Sunday 28 June 2020 marked day 91 of the national lockdown declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and has been in place since 30 March 2020.   The Ministry of Health and Child Care reported an increase in the number of confirmed cases to five hundred and sixty-seven (567). The number of cumulative tests done stood at sixty-six thousand seven hundred and twelve (66 712). Of these, sixty-six thousand one hundred and forty-five (66 145) were negative. The number of recoveries increased to one hundred and thirty-five (135) and the death toll stands at six (6).  

Methodology
Information contained in this report is derived from the following Forum Members:

  • Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)
  • Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
  • Counselling Services Unit (CSU)
  • Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)

General Updates
In Zvimba, ZANU PF convened a meeting at Kawondera Primary School. The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi who is the Member of Parliament for the area was the guest of honour. The meeting was attended by over 200 party supporters most of whom did not take heed of physical distancing, before and after the meeting. Similarly, in Chikomba, ZANU PF Legislator for Chikomba Honourable Mangwiro donated rice to the elderly.  About six (6) families were selected from every village with each family receiving six (6) cups of rice. Villagers were not wearing face masks and no sanitizers were provided. Social distancing was not practised.

The Buhera West ZANU PF Legislator Mr Solomon Nzuma, gathered about 100 ZANU PF supporters at Chani Business Centre in ward 5. Mr Nzuma promised to provide mealie meal for the ZANU PF supporters in the area. The meeting was reportedly part of the ZANU PF party’s campaign to mobilise voters for the 2023 presidential elections. The meeting was overcrowded as people did not take heed of social distancing.

In Guruve at Chimanikire Primary School, 2 men were harassed by soldiers and police officers at a checkpoint along Guruve-Harare road. The officers accused the men of illegally ferrying commuters during the lockdown. Reports indicate that the men were harassed and they were only allowed to pass after bribing the police officers with US$10.

In Beitbridge, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare distributed maize to the vulnerable, disabled, old age and the less privileged people. Reports indicate that few people were putting on face masks including the distribution team. Social services department encouraged those that had not registered for ZWL180 to register with one wallet. However, citizens were concerned if they would receive the money through their e-wallets given the recent ban of the platforms.

National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that four (4) more people have escaped from quarantine centres around the country, bringing the total number of quarantine escapees to 187. One person is reported to have escaped from the NSSA Hotel Quarantine Centre in Beitbridge Matabeleland South Province while three others absconded from Murewa Training Centre Quarantine Centre in Mashonaland East Province. The COVID-19 status and identities of the latest escapees, however, has not been disclosed.

Arrests
MDC Alliance’s Goromonzi South youth chairperson Davison Chamisa and Mashonaland East Provincial executive member Ishmael Jeke were arrested and initially detained at Ruwa Police station in connection with the Goromonzi whistle protest that took place on 27 June 2020. However, reports indicate that Davison Chamisa’s lawyers searched for him at all police stations in the area but could not locate him. His lawyers allege that he was abducted in the same fashion as Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova. Chamisa was reportedly found dumped in Norton badly beaten and dumped in Norton. Further allegations are that he was injected by an unknown substance.

Summary of violations
The table below summarises human rights violations documented by the Forum Secretariat and Forum Members from 30 March to 26 June 2020.

Nature of ViolationNumber of VictimsLocation
Assault278Harare, Zvishavane, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Wedza, Chinhoyi, Zaka, Gweru, Chitungwiza, Bindura, Nembudziya, Chiredzi, Marondera, Mutoko, Chivi, Bikita, Zvishavane, Mvurwi, Mutare, Marondera, Beitbridge, Domboshava, Wengezi
Attack on Journalists18Mutare, Gweru, Chinhoyi, Harare, Chiredzi, Masvingo, Beitbridge
Arrests495Masvingo, Gokwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Hwange, Harare, Magunje, Lupane, Norton, Bikita, Mutasa, Chitungwiza, Nkayi, Makoni, Chipinge, Beitbridge, Lupane, Tsholotsho, Mwenezi, Guruve, Hwange, Murwi, Kwekwe, Chinhoyi
Malicious Damage to Property2Harare, Chitungwiza
Abductions3Harare

Conclusion
The Forum is extremely concerned with the alleged disappearance of Davison Chamisa from police custody.  This is particularly worrying in view of similar allegations made by Honourable Joana Mamombe and two other MDC Alliance Members.  The Forum therefore urges the police and all responsible authorities to take all necessary steps required under the law to ensure the safe return of Mr Chamisa.

The Forum is further concerned with allegations that ZANU PF has already stated campaigning for the 2023 election in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, without ensuring that participants at the meetings observe the measures that have been put in place to curb the spread of the virus.   The Forum urges the party to ensure citizens’ safety and put in place measures that ensure that citizens are safe from the virus.

Source: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (HRForum)