Hard Done: ZPP August 2021 Monitoring Report

ZZP’s monthly monitoring report for the month of August is now available. Among other things, the report covers human rights violations, child marriages and the public sector transport. For this and more in detail, read on.

Executive Summary

August 2021 was a politically charged month in Zimbabwe. The social media buzz over the opposition victory in neighbouring Zambia translated into more campaigns and increased political activity by the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance parties in Zimbabwe. Despite the COVID-19 lockdown in place, Zanu PF continued with its campaigns and restructuring like it was business as usual. As a result of being politically active, Zanu PF contributed to over 21 percent of perpetrators of human rights violations in August 2021. This was mostly due to the fact that party officials and activists coerced citizens to be part of the party’s activities, in the process infringing their freedom to associate. The main opposition party, the MDC Alliance and its breakaway, the MDC-T, both contributed to just under 0.2 percent of the perpetrators.

All this happened as Zimbabweans experienced an increase in the cost of living and the worsening of the public transport crisis. The unavailability of safe and reliable public transportation has become a major human rights issue in Zimbabwe as government continues to maintain a ban on public transport operators at a time when the government owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has not managed to build its capacity to cater for the huge demand for its services.

We take a look at the issues affecting the public transport system. We also delve into the story behind the forcing of young girls into marriage scandal at the Johane Marange apostolic sect and focus on how the sect, which enjoys political protection, uses various means of suppressing the rights of children and women.

Charged with the responsibility to enforce COVID-19 lockdown measures, the police contributed to just over 50 percent of the human rights violations. This is mainly because the officers used brute methods, or simply did not follow arrest procedures while enforcing measures such as the 6.30 pm curfew. In one of the cases, some commercial sex workers who were found loitering after the curfew in Marondera alleged that police officers demanded sexual favours in return for freedom. The police were also responsible for the ten cases of unlawful detention.

We also look at the human rights issue around government’s failure to avail national registration documents considering that for one to write public exams, vote in national elections, or access aid and some financial and government services, they need to either have national identity card or birth certificate. During the month of August, ZPP hosted a webinar on enforced disappearances and part of the panelist was Aua Balde, who is a member of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

Read the full report here (2MB PDF)

Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project

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