Zimbabwe Human Rights Alert – March 2021 VOL 1/Edition 2

Women Carrying the Load of the COVID-19 Pandemic
From surgeons, nurses, human rights defenders, housewives, women have carried the burden resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has ravaged political and socio-economic systems and exposed women and girls to harsh survival conditions. However, instead of being victims of the pandemic, women have come out victors through sheer hard work, risk-taking and defying the odds. In this regard, March was a befitting period to celebrate Women’s month as it also marked one year since the announcement of the first lockdown in Zimbabwe.

Women Call for Minimum Standards for Public Office Bearers as Former VP’s Alleged Escapades Expose Abuse of Power
Women and Law in Southern Africa – Zimbabwe (WLSA), called on the government and parliament to consider introducing minimum standards of conduct for public office bearers to curb the abuse of women and safeguard the reputation of public institutions. The call follows widespread reports of alleged sexual misconduct against the then Second Vice President of Zimbabwe, Kembo Mohadi and High Court judge, Justice Mabhikwa. The senior officials were allegedly involved in sexual relationships with subordinates in their respective offices.

Six Years on, Dzamara Still Unaccounted for
The disappearance of Itai Dzamara, a journalist and candid critic of the ZANU-PF government continues to cast a dark cloud over his family, friends, civil society and Zimbabwe at large. On 9 March 2015 human rights defenders stood in solidarity with Dzamara’s wife, Sheffra, to demand action from the government and other responsible authorities for his safe return. Despite the six-year lapse, Sheffra remains optimistic and strong especially for their 13-year old son and eight-year-old daughter.

The Proposed Patriotic Bill is All, but Patriotic
On October 4 2020, an article was published in The Sunday Mail in which it was reported that principles of a proposed Patriot Bill aimed at criminalising private correspondence with foreign governments to the detriment of the national interests, had been drafted, and were to soon be tabled before Cabinet for consideration of legal enactment.

Read the full newsletter here (449KB PDF)

Sources: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

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