…the Preamble of the Constitution, Zimbabwe’s supreme law, which no one is above, begins with the phrase, We the People of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is for every Zimbabwean! It does not belong to a group of greedy, selfish and narcissist individuals who think everything, including the lives of all Zimbabweans, revolve around them. This is why the Preamble of the Constitution, Zimbabwe’s supreme law, which no one is above, begins with the phrase, We the People of Zimbabwe.
It goes on to state that, “We the people of Zimbabwe, united in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality, and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination and oppression…” This sums up the fact that Zimbabwe belongs to everyone, and as the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), we write to reaffirm that in the face of a social, economic and political situations where some individuals holding State power have acted in a manner that is not consistent with the Constitution, and have gone on to parade extreme disregard for the people whose welfare they are in charge of, this must stop. This is happening as the country’s political temperatures are at their peak, less than three weeks before critical by-elections that are happening after a series of depressing political developments.
And perhaps, the true colours and character of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and the ruling party are coming out once more. Like always, President Mnangagwa’s party, Zanu PF takes a lead in human rights violations recorded this month at 41 percent, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, which is under his command as the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, comes second after contributing to 37 percent of human rights violations recorded in February 2022.
In all this, machete wielding gangs have resurfaced and this month, they contributed to nearly five percent of all human rights violations and the spotlight of their action, Kwekwe, is President Mnangagwa’s home town. For the first time in a long time, Midlands, where Kwekwe is located, recorded a surge in human rights violations, buoyed by the resurgence of the machete gangs, most of whom are artisanal miners loyal to Zanu PF and certain political figures. These are the same machete gangs that pounced on the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) rally that was being addressed by the party leader Nelson Chamisa in Kwekwe, killing two and injuring over a dozen others, a day after Vice President Constantino Chiwenga incited violence by claiming that CCC was a little Goliath that needed to be crushed with a stone. The incident has since becomeone of the darkest of the increasing violent incidents in Zimbabwe’s political landscape.
This month, ZPP recorded a significant increase in the profile and scope of the human rights violations recorded. So, while in January, ZPP recorded a total of 55 cases of human rights violations, the majority of them were of discrimination during aid processes, and in February, the organization recorded a total of 70 cases, with the majority of them being of political violence that left people injured or dead.
In all of this, the majority of the victims, about 89 percent, are ordinary Zimbabweans, with nine percent being CCC supporters. It is unfortunate that Zimbabwean politics continues be haunted by cases of violence that can be avoided if Zimbabweans were more tolerant. We are also concerned by the continued partisan actions of the police, whose mandate is to serve every Zimbabwean. ZPP noted the irony that police managed to send a considerable amount of equipment and human resources to stop a CCC rally in Gokwe, but failed to send enough manpower to protect the legally sanctioned CCC event in Kwekwe, which was invaded by the machete gangs. The Kwekwe incident happened as CCC activists had to fend off alleged Zanu PF supporters who petrol bombed a tent set up for a rally in St Mary’s in Chitungwiza. Police have also contributed to human rights violations, CCC supporters were detained for holding a car rally whereas supporters of other political parties had car rallies and they were not arrested. Police have also deployed roadblocks in a bid to disrupt opposition political activists wishing to attend rallies of their parties.
Read the full report here (2MB PDF)
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project