Human Rights Violations Weekly Update 03

In the period under review (24 March- 01 April 2018), Heal Zimbabwe recorded a total of 31 human rights violations from 17 districts. Three categories of human rights violations were recorded. These include intimidation (with threats of violence or threats of withdrawal of food aid or agricultural inputs), forced attendance to political gatherings and disrupted political gatherings. Intimidation recorded the highest number of violations constituting 94% (29 cases), forced attendance to political gatherings and disrupted gatherings recorded 3% each. The recorded human rights violations originated from the (i) ZANU PF restructuring exercise, (ii) the emergence of new political parties and independent candidates, (iii) the collection of BVR serial numbers and (iv) the ongoing MDC alliance rallies.

Heal Zimbabwe observed that intimidation continuously topped the list of violations every week. In this report, intimidation recorded the highest number of cases with 29 cases. The cases of intimidation increased by 09 cases from the previous report which recorded 20 cases. Perpetrators continuously use intimidation as a tool to harness power and support for the ruling ZANU PF party ahead of the elections. Victims are repeatedly threatened with past violence, withdrawal of food aid and developmental benefits. Such threats lead to fearful communities who are not able to exercise their constitutionally provided rights. Section 67 of the constitution provides for citizens to participate in political activities of their choice and freely participate in elections without fear or victimisation. HZT in this regard perceive intimidation as a threat towards peace and social cohesion especially towards elections.

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