Human rights update 11

/Summary of Violations

Heal Zimbabwe recorded 22 human rights violations from 13 districts from the 22nd – 28th of September 2017. In the period under review, three categories of human rights violations were recorded. These include intimidation (with threats of violence or threats of withdrawal of food aid or agricultural inputs), forced participation (in political meetings, financial or material contributions) and partisan allocation of proof of residence by traditional leaders. The levels of intimidation remains a concern with 86.36% (19 cases) being recorded this week, followed by forced participation in political activities with 9.10% (2 cases) and partisan allocation of proof of residence to potential voters with 4.54% (1 case). The recorded human rights violations were mainly emanating from (i) the lack of information around the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration process and (ii) ZANU PF restructuring exercises in local communities.

Heal Zimbabwe observed that cases of intimidation escalated in local communities after the launch of the BVR process countrywide. Falsehoods around the process, intimidation and partisan allocation of proof of residence inhibit free participation of people in electoral processes. Limited public information expose community members to victimisation. Some ZANU PF supporters are spreading falsehoods that the BVR process allows them to monitor voting trends using the captured physical and behavioural features such as fingerprints, the face, iris and signatures taken during the registration process. They are claiming that the BVR process will allow them to detect who would have voted for opposition political parties. HZT views such intimidation tactics as an impediment to freedom of expression and a threat to peace and social cohesion.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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