On 25 October 2020, at Kandeya Primary School in Mt Darwin South, about 177 kilometres from the main capital, Harare, dozens of villagers gathered to receive agricultural inputs under the government’s Pfumvudza programme meant to boost Zimbabwe’s food security.
What started off as a fair distribution – with everyone getting their fair share, later turned out to be a partisan exercise. This was after about 20 villagers known to support opposition political parties were turned away and asked that they return after the distribution. When they turned up later, they did not get the inputs. Elsewhere, on October 8, only Zanu PF supporters benefited from the Pfumvudza inputs at Waze Business Centre in Chegutu East. The Zanu PF Ward Chairperson Daniel Makamure and another ruling party activist only identified as Musengi forced villagers to a meeting and beneficiaries were forced to surrender their personal details and chant Zanu PF slogans.
These two incidences are not isolated as, throughout the month of October, the partisan distribution of Pfumvudza inputs was a major highlight and the Zimbabwe Peace Project recorded 38 cases of discrimination of known and perceived political opposition supporters and/or activists. So widespread was this that ZPP recorded cases in all provinces except Harare and Bulawayo.
The ruling party contributed to 20.84 percent of all violations recorded, up from 15.61 percent in September; largely because Zanu PF officials were the ones influential in the distribution of Pfumvudza inputs.
While government continued to relax Covid-19 regulations and the law enforcement agents exhibited less energy in enforcing the rules, the Zimbabwe Republic Police still contributed 19.87 percent of perpetrators of human rights violations, while the army, whose presence in the streets had become much lower, accounted for 2.75. Machete gangs came into the picture in October and while they contributed to only 1.78 percent of perpetrators, the mere reincarnation of machete violence symbolized government and law enforcement’s failure to deal with the gangs, who have not only unleashed terror in mining communities, but have at some point resorted to armed robberies.
Municipal police, mostly in Harare, who use some of the vilest methods of dealing with illegal vendors and traffic offenders, contributed to 9.85 percent of perpetrators.
MDC Alliance affiliated activists had a share of 3.07 percent of perpetrators of human rights violations while MDC-T Khupe contributed 0.16 percent; similar to last month, this is largely attributed to the battle for control by Nelson Chamisa (MDC Alliance) and Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T).
ZPP recorded 84 cases of harassment, a trend attributed largely to the distribution of Pfumvudza inputs, challenges in the access to water and enforcement of Covid19 regulations by the police; among others.
ZPP also recorded seven cases of unlawful detention, three displacements and two cases of sexual harassment.
ZPP is disheartened that two months in a row, there has been cases of killings, four in October and five in September. The sanctity of life is clearly outlined in the founding values of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and must be respected.
Read the full report here (2MB PDF)
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project