In this edition ZPP covers a range of pertinent issues which include a snap survey of public confidence in the police, they give us an outlook of political activities across the country as well as a few lessons on Covid-19. For these issues and more read on.
Once again, in July 2021, the citizens of Zimbabwe were the major victims of human rights violations mainly committed by the ruling ZANU PF party and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. This is no coincidence. The statistics and the human rights violations that ZPP recorded in the month of July confirm the systematic nature in which both the ruling party and law enforcement agents have become the biggest threat to the enjoyment of human rights by citizens in Zimbabwe. Harassment, intimidation, unlawful arrests, beatings and aid discrimination have become some of the most common human rights violations ZPP has recorded in the past months and the trend, unfortunately, continued in July 2021. 99.5 percent of this month’s victims of human rights violations are ordinary citizens.
The citizens of Zimbabwe have become more and more voiceless, and this comes in the wake of much more overt attempts by government and ruling party to shut down the operating space for civil society and the opposition. Using all means necessary, from promulgating restrictive legislation, to prying into the work of civil society organizations through Provincial Development Coordinators, government has clearly demonstrated its intention to shut out the remaining civil and political space. It must be noted that civil society plays a critical role not in just complementing the work of government in all sectors, but it also holds government to account, promotes transparency, accountability, democracy and an open society. By criminalizing, and stifling the work of civil society, government denies citizens a chance to enjoy the vital services provided by civil society organizations in all sectors.
In the midst of all this, government continued to push its COVID-19 vaccination efforts amid challenges that included huge information gaps, and unavailability of adequate vaccines in some communities. While its efforts to increase the number of vaccines brought into the country are commendable, government unfortunately took a generally disjointed approach to the process, to some extent defeating the purpose. This happened as the general health situation in the country deteriorated, with patients being turned away, or simply being neglected. The challenges in the maternal health system have not been addressed and ZPP noted that pre and post-natal services remained inaccessible to the generality of the population, which relies mainly on council and government primary care institutions. ZPP conducted a snap offline survey to establish the levels of trust on the police. 113 people responded to this poll while 32 refused to respond citing unstated fears.
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Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project