Communiqué by SADC CSOs on the current human rights situation in Zimbabwe

Key Human Rights Concerns

Zimbabwe’s human rights problems are highly entangled with the political developments. Similarly, the economy is reactive to political developments. According to the 2019 Labour Force Survey released in March 2020, 74% of Zimbabwe’s labour force is in the informal sector. This means most are unemployed and bear the brunt of the harsh economy. Under an inflationary environment, income is being eroded, leaving many in poverty. Zimbabweans are therefore now suffering the triple burden of poverty, unemployment and inequality. There is a breakdown of social-services, with the health sector in a long-standing crisis, which is particularly worrying during the Covid-19 pandemic. Maternal deaths and infant mortality are at an all-time high. The long term impact of the crisis on malaria and AIDS treatment and prevention is potentially disastrous. Education services are also breaking down, which in the long term will have an adverse effect on the country’s development. Social welfare provisions are woefully inadequate.

Preliminary observations by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food on her official visit to Zimbabwe in November 2019 characterised the dire food situation as “man-made starvation”, warning that the food security situation is expected to worsen with an estimated 8 million people affected. She concluded that “Zimbabwe counts amongst the four highest food insecure States, alongside conflict ravaged countries”. Corruption, including the misappropriation of funds intended to combat COVID-19, has become entrenched, with public resources diverted for personal gain. This was the primary reason for the planned protests on 31 July 2020.

Download full communiqué here (814KB PDF)

Source: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

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