Picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the elections – August 2018 Monthly Monitoring Report


The total number of violations in the period 1 August to 31 August was 231 from a reported 124 cases down from the 266 recorded from 151 cases in July in the run up to the elections. Harare recorded the highest number of violations at 54. This could be attributed to a number of factors among them Harare is an urban area and for a long time has been the stronghold of the opposition MDC Alliance and it also happens to be the hub of where everything was happening in the elections from being the central point of all observers as well as being home to all the institutions related to the elections. Supporters of the MDC Alliance took to the streets on August 1 protesting the perceived delay in the announcement of Presidential elections. After marching to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) offices then to the Rainbow Towers where ZEC had set a National Results Centre, the protestors caught the ire of the police who were deployed to control the crowd and thus prevented them from accessing the Rainbow Towers where most international observers were housed and some were presenting their preliminary reports on the just ended July 30 harmonised elections. The police used water cannons and tear gas to push back the protesters from the area of the Rainbow Towers. To the surprise of many military vehicles were seen circling the city of Harare and in no time reports of unarmed civilians having been killed in cold blood started filtering. Seven citizens lost their lives and scores others were injured in the melee of running away from live ammunition. In the days that followed citizens in high density areas of Harare and other provinces faced violence.

Mashonaland Central had the second highest number of violations at 38. Most of the cases reported were of intimidation and harassment as reprisals intensified with most people being victimised for their choices during elections. There were 134 violations related to harassment and intimidation. There were 7 murder cases mainly due to the disproportionate force applied by the military to quell protests. ZPP recorded cases of gross human rights violations

during the month of August that surpass any other month in the run up to the elections. In interviews with victims of the post election violence it is evident that reprisals were also against members of the G-40 faction in Zanu PF. Zanu PF and members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) labelled as ‘rogue’ by the ZNA itself were responsible for perpetrating most of the violations. A high number of violations were also reported in Manicaland and Mashonaland East and West. Masvingo had a low number of violations as was Matebeleland region as well as the Midlands. It is not clear why some provinces had more violations recorded than others although the discrimination in the distribution of food affected all provinces regardless.

Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project

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