Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South) – Executive Summary
This year’s Independence celebrations resulted in human rights violations both before and after the event in terms of political harassment and intimidation cases perpetrated by ruling Zanu PF party supporters and some community leaders.
There were reports of people forced to contribute money, livestock or other food items towards the Independence celebrations.
Those who failed to contribute were accused of being opposition party supporters and unspecified action was threatened against them. In Mbare, Harare, flea markets were closed as traders reported that they were forced to attend the Independence celebrations.
There were similar reports of business closures in Nyanga North as traders were forced to attend Independence celebrations. The demand for cash and other contributions took place as the cash liquidity crunch intensified.
Queues at most financial institutions got longer while it was not surprising for clients to be offered cash in the form of bond coins as the bond note disappeared.
There were intra-party violence cases reported particularly in the ruling Zanu PF party where succession disputes are reported to have left Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere on the verge of being ousted.
The process has often been a violent one characterised by intimidation, harassment and in some instances physical violence. In Harare, three people suffered broken limbs after pro-Kasukuwere and anti-Kasukuwere supporters clashed.
A ZPP team member who was taking pictures of the marches was taken into a police van and ordered to delete pictures before being released.
Supporters on either side have tried to prevent the other from marching and in some cases arrests have been made.
President Robert Mugabe is on record prohibiting party members from demonstrating and issuing a directive through Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister Martin Dinha to stop all demonstrations. Neither President Mugabe nor Provincial Affairs Minister Dinha has constitutional powers to prevent demonstrations or to authorise them.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s remarks that his ruling party was ‘fumigating’ itself have also been criticised by political observers as inflammatory especially with some of the political conflicts becoming violent.
The use of such inflammatory language has the potential to trigger and fuel violence. Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko invited the military to deal with critics of President Mugabe within the ruling party despite the constitution being clear that the military may not be deployed for such purposes.
The Chronicle reported that Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made was commended by the ruling party for securing rice at Grain Marketing Board (GMB) which was distributed to Zanu PF supporters in the run up to the Mwenezi East by-election despite denials in the past by government that the distribution of food and other aid is being politicised.
Cases of food violations have been noted to have gone down in the month of April. This may be because April is the month when most people harvest and it seems in some areas people are recording bumper harvests.
In incidents of intra-party violence reported in the MDC-T in Chinhoyi and Chegutu, party Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora said the party had not received such reports but if there was any truth in the reports, his party does not condone violence and would investigate the cases.
President Mugabe urged citizens to respect other citizens’ right to freedom of association although people particularly opposition party supporters continued to be intimidated and harassed by ruling party supporters without the police taking action in most of the cases.
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) reports for April show a total of 123 violations up from last month’s 112.
The month under focus had 798 victims altogether. Of these victims, those affiliated to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) stood at 3.4 % which translates to 27 people while those affiliated to Zanu PF are 19.
A total of 798 victims and 188 perpetrators were recorded. 62.2 % of the victims were male while 37.8 % were females. 87.6% of the perpetrators were male while 12.4 % were female.
146 perpetrators were affiliated to the ruling Zanu PF party which is 77.7 % of the figure. Only one of the perpetrators could not be established which party they were affiliated to.
18 perpetrators were police officers while 7 of the perpetrators were Central Intelligence Organisation operatives and 14 perpetrators were from the MDC-T. There was a drastic decrease in the number of unknown perpetrators this month.
Get the full report here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ulaqz6sk988jglt/ZPP%20APRIL%20MMR.pdf?dl=0
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project0
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