October -December 2015

A report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

January 2016

Executive summary …………………………………………………………………………… 3
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Developments in the fulfillment of human rights…………………………………. 5
Forms of Abuse…………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Section 1: Civil and Political Rights……………………………………………………. 9
a.Violations of the security of the person …………………………………………………………9
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances……………………………………………. 9
b. Rights relating to respect for the integrity of the Person……………………………
c. Respect for civil liberties …………………………………………………………………………………..
Presentation of cases of political violence ……………………………………….. 19Fig 2: Trends in violations over the year …………………………………………… 20Fig 3:Human rights violations forms andstatistics last quarter 2015…21Section 2: Economic, Social and Cultural rights ……………………………….. 23

a.Violation of the right to education ………………………………………………………………..
b.Violation of the right to health……………………………………………………………………….
c.Violation of the right to work …………………………………………………………………………
d.Violation of the right to food………………………………………………………………………….
a.Violation of the right to safe and clean water …………………………………………….
b.Violation of the right to freedom from arbitrary eviction …………………………
c.Violation of the right to property …………………………………………………………………..
Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………… 28

Executive summary

The report covers political and human rights violations in Zimbabwe for the
period October to December 2015. During the final quarter of the year there
were remarkable developments in the fulfilment of human rights. These were
linked to Constitutionalism: state responsiveness to demands for human rights
fulfilment by its citizens and the international community; capacitation of the
state to undertake its mandatory role through for instance appointment of
Commissioners to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission
(NPRC); and state civil society engagement. Despite such positive
developments, the country continued to experience political, economic and
social challenges. Unemployment levels, estimated at around 90% in the
previous quarter, appeared to worsen with further job layoffs and company
closures. The cost of living rose while social degeneration, characterised by
crime and deviance escalated. Pessimism over the country’s political and
economic future grew resulting from differences among the country’s political
and governing elites. The country faced economic and political challenges
associated with job losses, a rising cost of living, and violation of property
rights, freedoms of expression, assembly and association.

Human rights violations that had surged during the earlier periods in the year
showed signs of decline from October to November, but rose again in
December with a cumulative total of 998. During the quarter there was a
sharp increase in the reported cases of torture and excessive violations of
property rights through unprocedural house demolitions and evictions as well
as a steady increase in cases of discrimination on food aid distribution.
Bulawayo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South and Masvingo recorded
the least violations while most violations were recorded in Harare,
Mashonaland West, Midlands and Mashonaland Central.

There were progressive developments in the promotion of human rights,
through for instance policy and institutional changes. Structures of violence
documented in previous quarters remained, with the police retaining their
approach of selective application of the law and torture. The state was not


very proactive in taking measures within the limits of resources available to it,

to enable every person to enjoy economic, social and cultural rights.

Resultantly there were avoidable violations of such rights. In view of the on
going violations, the Forum makes the following recommendations:
-that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission makes itself more
available to receive reports against human rights violations, carried out
prompt and thorough investigates and publicise its findings in the
national interest;

-that relevant Parliamentary Portfolio Committees keep themselves
abreast of human rights developments and provide policy and practice
redress options in accordance with their mandates;

-that human rights defenders and civil society organisations generate
accurate data on human rights violations and share findings for the
adoption of cumulative, collated and factual information

-that government commits itself to implementing the Constitution in
letter and spirit for the progressive realisation of all human rights of all



The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) produces the
Quarterly Political and Human Rights Violations Report (QPVR). It is a
monitoring tool to track and document trends in civil, political, economic,
social and cultural rights violations. This report covers the period between
October and December 2015 and highlights developments, important
statistics and trends in human rights violations. The information used is
derived from the Forum’s Public Interest Unit (PIU), member and partner
organisations and verified press reports. Although this report derives its
information from multiple sources it is not intended to be the main and
exhaustive source of human rights violations information in Zimbabwe, but a
complimentary report alongside those produced by other human rights

Developments in the fulfillment of human rights

The Government of Zimbabwe continued engaging civil society in preparing
for Zimbabwe’s second cycle report under the Universal Periodic Review
(UPR), due in September 2016, through a steering committee meeting
involving state and non-state actors on 3 December 2015. The UPR, a
process done under the United Nations Human Rights Council, provides an
opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve
the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to
the enjoyment of human rights. The UPR includes a sharing of best human
rights practices around the globe. In the same spirit of being responsive and
accountable to citizens Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda
established a Public Dialogue Forum on a quarterly basis, where civil society
and development partners interact with the Speaker on a regular basis to
engage on critical issues before Parliament. The inaugural meeting was held
on 23 October 2015. This is in line with Section 141 of the Constitution that
mandates Parliament to create mechanisms of public access to and
involvement in Parliament.


The President on 27 November finally appointed a 9-member National Peace
and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC). For almost two and a half years after
the state had dithered on the recruitment, selection and appointment of the
NPRC, leading civil society organisations and the National Transitional Justice
Working Group to wage spirited campaigns, including threats of compelling
legal action, to force the state to appoint commissioners to the NPRC.

For the realisation of health rights the government, in October, together with
its development partners launched the Health Development Fund (HDF), a
multi-donor fund sponsored by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The HDF covers the period 2016 2020
and will reduce unmet needs for family planning to 6.5% by end of 2020
and reduce the rate of maternal deaths. To improve treatment and prevention
of HIV, the government announced intentions to provide antiretroviral (ARVs)
to all HIV positive people and those who are highly exposed to HIV infection.
This is in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) treatment and
prevention guidelines for 2016.

There was progress in the harmonisation of some pieces of legislation with
the Constitution. By year end the General Laws Amendment Bill of 2015 had
addressed 125 Acts of Parliament; 51 Acts had been amended under the
National Prosecuting Authority Act. An outstanding 116 Acts still required
minor amendments while 49 required substantial amendments.1

Human rights defenders including the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights found some court decisions
favourable and advancing the fulfillment of specific rights. In mid-October
Justice Evangelista Kabasa in the Labour Court ruled that the Civil Service
Commission in 2014 unfairly dismissed from work one Raymond Sibanda. His
charge of “misconduct” and “performing an indecent act in a public place”, by
participating at a party hosted by Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)

1 Herald 25 December 2015


was dismissed. The Judge noted that as no one should be dismissed from
employment on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. This confirmed the
supremacy of the Constitution, which outlaws discrimination.

Government in conjunction with the UN, humanitarian and development
partners as well as some Non-Governmental Organizations developed a food
insecurity response plan. This followed a call from Vice President Emerson
Mnangagwa, the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Food and Nutrition
Security, for the establishment of developed a food insecurity response plan,
after recognising the imminence of famine as a result of climate changes and
El Nino. The plan sought US$132.2 million, of which US$ 54.1 million has
been received by October 2015, leaving a funding gap of US$ 78.1 million.2

Despite these developments, by year-end there were still concerns by human
rights defenders and human rights organisations over government’s failure to
fulfill protect and promote rights for its citizens. This was partly due to
inadequate political will by the State to develop its capacity for the realisation
of such rights. Some criticism was leveled against the national budget that
resources state expenditure. The 2016 National Budget allocated 24% ($3
million) for food in the country’s prisons against a requisite amount of $13.2
million. The total figure allocated to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional
Services (ZPCS) was $88.7 million, representing a 1.18% increase from the
previous budgetary allocation of $87.6 million, which was also inadequate,
resulting in food riots that occurred in March 2015. Due to this inadequate
budget allocations, prisons will not be able to maintain infrastructure; provide
dressing for inmates; medical supplies and transport facilities for prisoners to
be taken to courts.

In what appears to be apparent disdain for the rights to shelter, property,
dignity and access to justice, the Harare City Council demolished hundreds of
homes, some of them illegal homes, without court orders as required by law in

2 Press release from Office of the UN Resident Coordinator located at


November and December3. In the process home owners were harassed,
assaulted, threatened and were denied permission to retrieve their assets
from homes under demolition. Attempts by residents’ bodies such as the
Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum (HAMREF) and Combined Harare
Residents Association (CHRA) to engage all stakeholders, including
authorities for amicable solutions on the issue of controversial housing
residential stands did not yield anticipated results. There were also other acts
of defiance of court orders by authorities such as Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing as well as Masvingo
Provincial Affairs Minister. The former defied a court order by a Bulawayo
High Court Judge ordering him to reinstate suspended Gweru Mayor
Hamutendi Kombayi and 10 councilors, while the later evicted villagers from
Chomfuli farm in Gutu, Masvingo Province, regardless of a court order
protecting them from eviction.

Allegations were made by some sections of the Zimbabwean society,
including the Zimbabwe Empowerment Movement (ZEM), that the judiciary
passes judgments that are based on political affiliation.4 Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku refuted the allegations, plausible to most of Zimbabwean human
rights defenders. A partisan judiciary is detrimental for democracy and the rule
of law. Substantive evidence is required to validate the allegation.

In the continuance of an on-going trend, police acted in a partisan manner,
furthering the interests of specific political parties, by arbitrarily arresting
MDC-T supporters and shielding ZANU PF supporters from arrests and
prosecution. Police were derelict from their responsibility to protect and
secure the lives and security of people, as well as law and order maintenance.
This was in contravention of provisions of the Constitution, the Police Act and
a raft of both domestic and international human rights legislation. Responding
to such police conduct, on 3 November eight opposition parties namely MDCT;
People First; National Constitutional Assembly; Transform Zimbabwe;
People’s Democratic Party; Zanu Ndonga; FreeZim Congress and African

3 HAMREF press statement, located in The Independent of 9 – 15 October



Democratic Party wrote to the Commissioner General of Police Augustine
Chihuri demanding a meeting to address their concerns over politically
motivated violence and the partisan nature of some police officials.

Forms of Abuse

Abuses that were recorded for the period under review are presented in these
sections. Section one details violations relating to civil and political rights and
Section two details economic, social and cultural rights.

Section 1: Civil and Political Rights

a. Violations of the security of the person
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Enforced disappearance takes place when a person is arrested, detained,
abducted or otherwise deprived of their liberty by state officials or by
organized groups or private individuals whose actions are condoned by the
state in some way. This is followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or
whereabouts of the persons concerned, placing them outside the protection of
the law5 . Enforced disappearances are prohibited in the declaration of rights
in Section 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Article 7 of the Rome Statute
and the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances, which are
both not ratified by the Government of Zimbabwe, prohibit enforced
disappearances. A Working Group was also established by the United
Nations Human Rights Council to address enforced disappearances, with
Resolution A/HRC/RES/27/1 mandating the Working Group to carry out
interventions for the management and redress of enforced disappearances.

During the final quarter, one (1) case of enforced disappearances was
recorded6. The whereabouts of Karimboni Nyemba7 who was abducted by a
member of the security forces on 20 May and Itai Dzamara who was abducted


on 09 March are still to be ascertained.

What has been worrying about cases of enforced disappearances is that
police do not appear to be able to carry out investigations even when
suspects are identified. Without the involvement of political parties or human
rights defenders some cases fail to attract the attention of the state making it
convenient for offenders or abductors to escape accountability with impunity.

b. Rights relating to respect for the integrity of the Person
Although the political environment remained relatively calm, cases of torture,
assault, harassment and intimidation were recorded during the period.

Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Torture is “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or
mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining
from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an
act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed;
such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent
or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official

Torture is prohibited under Section 53 of the Constitution, which provides that

“No person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. The ZHRC confirmed the
prevalence of torture in Zimbabwe by reporting its investigation of 22 cases of
unlawful detentions, arrests and torture by the ZRP that have occurred since
20149 . Torture was prevalent during the period, with 71 cases documented
including one that culminated in death. Deaths in police custody or torture by
police in Zimbabwe are not uncommon. Determination of the need for an
inquest into unnatural deaths in police custody as well as investigations into
the deaths are however the sole mandate of and under the direction of the
police and judicial system. Investigations of deaths in police custody,
particularly where detaining authorities are implicated in foul play, inhibit
determination of the actual magnitude and prevalence of deaths in police

8 See Article 1 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1985) http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html9Sunday Mail 22 November 2015


custody. In addition to lack of will to investigate, there are also capacity gaps
with forensic pathologists in the country being few. Improper investigations
into deaths that occur in custody is unfair to the bereaved, who are denied of
objective and timely information that helps them to obtain closure. This fuels
speculation of foul play even when the death was due to natural causes and
inhibit criminal investigations of murder as well as generation of information
that is essential for preventing such deaths in the future.

The cumulative totals for the period October to December as shown in Fig 3,
show a sharp increase in cases of torture. Heavy-handed management of
social unrest and selective application of the law by police can explain this
surge in torture cases. Torture has always been used to repress citizens who
elect to pursue their freedoms of assembly and association, freedom to
demonstrate and petition as well as enjoyment of political rights. Improved
monitoring and reporting, as well as synergy in the collation of violence
information, also contributed to the generation of higher torture statistics. The
following are some of the cases that were documented by the Counseling
Services Unit (CSU) and the Forum:

On 7 October in Chitungwiza police tortured an 11 year old in
Chitungwiza during investigations over the theft of a bicycle.

On 8 November an MDC-T activist from Harare South was assaulted
all over his body by members of the Police Support Unit at Hopley
settlement outside Harare. He sustained injuries and sought medical

Proud Mupambwa, a murder suspect, died on 16 November in police
custody in Chitungwiza. Police alleged he committed suicide although
was shackled in leg irons. Deaths in police custody or detention have
been common with some resulting from torture, negligence or summary
execution by police or other state security functionaries10.
10David Makwerere, Tafadzwa Chinzete and Collen Musorowegomo, Human Rights and
Policing: A case study of Zimbabwe (2012), located in International Journal of Humanities and
Social Sciences

On 27 December in Kuwadzana 2, representatives of some civil society
organisations who were planning collective job action were subjected
to brutal assaults under police custody at Kuwadzana 2 police station.
One of them sought medical treatment for injuries suffered11.
The state is still hesitant to ratify the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
despite making overtures to the Human Rights Council during the Universal
Periodic Review (UPR) meeting of 2011 in Geneva. The main perpetrators of
torture during the period were the police, with the army also being liable for

Arbitrary arrest or detention

Arbitrary arrest or detention is the arrest or detention of individuals in
circumstances where this is inappropriate and unjust under the due process of
law. Sections 49 and 50 on the Rights to personal liberty and Rights of
arrested and detained persons in the Constitution of Zimbabwe prohibit
arbitrary arrests and detention. Provisions of Section 208 on the conduct of
police officers, which prohibits partisan law enforcement, also bind arresting
officers. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
which Zimbabwe has signed and ratified, also prohibits the practice. During
the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes
Against Journalists on 2 November, the ZLHR expressed concern at the rising
numbers of media practitioners who have been arrested, harassed,
intimidated, assaulted, prosecuted and verbally abused for carrying out their
legitimate work.12 Although the Constitutional Court on 23 September had
ruled that section 121 (3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA)
is unconstitutional and against the letter and spirit of provisions on the right to
liberty, there was no cessation of illegal arrests and detention. A total of 14
cases were recorded. The following cases are illustrative:

On 13 October, a man was falsely arrested by police officers from
Rhodesville police station for receiving stolen property. Prior to this the
same arresting officers, had falsely accused the victim of committing a
11 Source: Counselling Services Unit


crime, following which the case was thrown out by a court. The arrests
were to intimidate the victim to halt civil proceedings against the same
officers for torture.13

Inter and intra-party violence erupted in Hopley, Highfields and Mbare.
On 1 November at Hopley farm MDC-T and ZANU PF supporters
clashed following attempts by ZANU PF youths to disrupt an MDC-T
rally. Police however arrested 17 MDC-T supporters with none of the
ZANU PF youths involved getting arrested.

On 2 November police arrested state media journalists Mabasa Sasa,
Brian Chitemba and Tinashe Farawo, over the publication of a report
that implicated senior police officers and Parks and Wildlife Authority
Rangers in the killing of elephants, in Hwange National Park14. Some
senior government officials15and opposition politicians criticised the
arrests. The courts dismissed charges against the arrested journalists.

On 12 November police in Harare arrested freelance journalist,
Andrison Manyere for covering a demonstration by MDC-T activists
against the reluctance of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to
implement electoral reforms.16

Assaults considered for this report as human rights violations are those that
are politically motivated and in that regard differ from the regular criminal acts.
Assaults violate Section 51 on the right to human dignity and Section 52 on
the right to personal security. They comprise one of the commonest forms of
political violence. During the period under review the level of political violence
became so disconcerting to an extent where seven opposition parties17 on 3
November demanded to meet the Commissioner General of Police Augustine



Chihuri, to address increasing politically motivated violence. Assault remained
the key strategy used for intimidation and punishment of people of divergent
political persuasion. The ZPP recorded 49 cases of assault for October and
November while other organisations separately recorded 29 for the period
October to December, bringing the total for the period to 71 cases.18 Some
illustrative cases include:

On 4 October ZANU PF youths assaulted a female MDC-T member
who was going to attend an MDC-T party rally for her political affiliation.

On 11 October four ZANU PF youths in UMP district assaulted an
MDC-T supporter for trading in second hand clothes in a place where
only ZANU PF members could trade. The victim sustained soft tissue
injuries and was only saved by some gold panners.

On 18 October two MDC-T supporters were assaulted all over their
bodies with feet and fists in separate incidents in Highfield, Harare for
wearing party regalia and while returning from a rally that was held in
the area by their political party. The two sustained injuries all over their
bodies and one had to be admitted to hospital.

On 1 November 18 MDC-T supporters at Hopley Farm settlement in
Harare South were attacked by ZANU-PF youths and members. The
attackers used sticks, stones, bricks, fists and feet to assault the
victims in a bid to deter an MDC-T rally in the area.
Harassment and Intimidation

Harassment and intimidation is the unlawful subjecting of one to pressure,
insult or threat with the intention of causing suffering, anxiety, discomfort and
or the feeling of insecurity. Intimidation and harassment has been used to limit
the choices of individuals over issues of concern in their lives, violating
Section 51 on the right to dignity; Section 58 on freedom of assembly and
association; Section 60 on freedom of conscience; and Section 67 on political
rights, among others.

18 Documented by Counseling Services Unit

Harassment typically has been the main form of coercion against political
opponents and remained as such during the period. During the period there
were continued reports of harassment and intimidation involving the issuing of
death threats, as part of intra-party violence in ZANU PF.19 ZPP recorded 251
cases for October and November alone. Validation of intra-party political
violence by human rights defenders, perceived in some party circles as
agents of regime change is challenging. The concurrence between the public
and private media on the occurrence of these harassment cases however
lends credibility to the reports. Reports were received by the Forum of Village
Heads in Mwenezi threatening villagers suspected of belonging to opposition
political parties with arbitrary evictions. In the same area it was also reported
that war vets were intimidating civilians with AK47 rifles at Neshuro business
centre during the month of October20. Plot owners in Glendale on 31 October
2015 were ordered to present evidence of their ownership of Zanu-PF party
cards. Those without party cards were threatened with loss of their plots. One
MDC-T supporter was specifically told that she would lose her field unless she
got a Zanu-PF card21.

c. Respect for civil liberties
Civil liberties allow the individual to be free to speak, think, assemble,
organize, worship, or petition without government or non-state interference or
restraints. Constitutional rights and freedoms covered in this section include
Section 57 on the right to privacy; Section 58 on freedom of assembly and
association; Section 61 on freedom of expression and of the media; Section
59 on freedom to demonstrate and petition. Although by the 4th quarter the

General Laws Amendment Bill of 2015 had addressed 125 Acts of Parliament
and 51 Acts had been amended under the National Prosecuting Authority Act,
repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA);
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) remained in use.
Notwithstanding these law amendments, some violations were recorded
during the period.


Freedom of assembly and association

Section 58 of the Constitution provides that “Every person has the right to
freedom of assembly and association, and the right not to assemble or
associate with others”; and “No person may be compelled to belong to an
association or to attend a meeting or gathering”. Violations reported during the
period include coerced participation at political events. For October and
November alone ZPP recorded nine 9 cases of banned and disrupted political
meetings. Cases that illustrate the violation of freedom of assembly and
association are as follows:

On 8 October, villagers in Buhera South under the Constituency of
Joseph Chinotimba were forced to pay $8 and to attend a rally
convened by the First Lady in Chimanimani. Chinotimba forcefully
mobilised his constituency members to attend the rally to prove his
loyalty to the First Lady,22 a fact that was also corroborated on
Zimbabwe television news.

On 1 November political violence rocked Hopley Farm between ZANU
PF and MDC-T activists over a political rally venue. Over 30 people
were injured, including a seven-year-old child and a pregnant woman.
Inter party violence is an indication of persisting political intolerance
and poor observation of fundamental human rights that promote
freedom of association and assembly23.

On 1 November, a group of ZANU-PF youths and members of the
police disrupted an MDC-T rally that was supposed to be held in

Police, citing recent violence in the same area as the cause, banned an
MDC-T rally planned for 7 November in Hopley farm, Harare South.
Opposition parties perceived this as a lame excuse.
22 http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-25299Villagers+
charged+$8+for+Grace+Mugabe+rally/news.aspx23 Heal Zimbabwe Trust alert, 3 November 2015
24 Counseling Services Unit

On 8 November Highfield East MP, Erick Murayi and others were
arrested on charges of public violence and for holding a rally without
police clearance. The total number arrested was 17 raising questions
about a rally comprising of such a small figure.25
Freedom of expression and of the media

The right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media is safeguarded
respectively in Section 61 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Violations of these rights affect seeking and receiving communications; artistic
expression, academic freedom and broadcasting. Laws that were an
impediment to the enjoyment of freedom of expression and freedom of the
media included the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA), Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Broadcasting Services
Act, Official Secrets Act, Censorship and Entertainment Controls Act,
Interception of Communications Act, are some of the laws that need to be
revisited under the envisaged media legislative reforms agenda.

Commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against
Journalists on 2 November, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lamented
arrests, harassment, intimidation, assaults, prosecution and verbal abuse of
journalists for carrying out their legitimate work. In October and November the
state media, its opinion writers, columnists, ZANU PF spokesperson Khaya
Moyo, Minister of Information Christopher Mushowe, the First Lady and
President castigated the private media for exercising their freedom of
expression. Castigation of journalists compromises the safety of journalists in
the scope of their work26. In October the Presidential spokesperson George
Charamba accused the private media of manipulative reporting and warned
that new laws would be enacted to deal with media houses that report on
factions within the ruling party27. A new media policy was mooted to address
what was perceived as errant journalism28. A total of seven (7) cases of media

25 Newsday 12 Nov 2015 26The Standard 1 – 7 November
27 Sunday Mail 11 October 2015
28 http://www.zimdaily.com/?p=39634#sthash.ulp6FqJG.dpuf

violations were recorded during the period. Some illustrations of the media
violations are as follows:

On 23 October Mutare-based journalists Sydney Saize, Bernard
Chiketo and Kenneth Nyangani were arrested and detained in Rusape
for covering a demonstration by MDC-T supporters outside Rusape
Magistrate Court. They were later released without charges.

2 November police arrested state media journalists Mabasa Sasa,
Brian Chitemba and Tinashe Farawo. The journalists had published a
report implicating senior police officers and Parks and Wildlife Authority
Rangers in the killing of elephants in Hwange National Park. The
arrests were condemned by senior government officials including a
Herald columnist believed to be the Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Information; Higher Education Minister and former
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and opposition politicians.

On 12 November Andrison Manyere was arrested in Harare, for
covering a demonstration by MDC-T activists against the reluctance of
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to implement electoral
reforms29. He was later released without charges.
Violation of the freedom to demonstrate and petition

The right to protest and petition, which is important for the proper functioning
of a democracy, is enshrined under Section 59 of the Constitution, which
specifies “Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions,
but these rights must be exercised peacefully”. Social accountability is
compromised if citizens are inhibited from the most basic form of expression
and feedback to policy makers and implementers through demonstrations and
petitions. Police have abused the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to
inhibit demonstrations and petitions. It appeared that government’s fear of
social unrest that could spread was used as an excuse to repress

29 Crisis Coalition alert 16 November 2015

demonstrations and petitions. The following are some of the cases that were
documented in which the government interfered with this constitutional right.

On 17 October police blocked members of the Occupy Africa Unity
Square (OAUS) campaign who wanted to mark a year since the
missing of human rights activist, Itai Dzamara, by delivering a petition
to President Robert Mugabe30.

On 12 November, police violently dispersed a MDC-T youths who were
demonstrating in the CBD in Harare. The youths had walked to
Parliament where they wanted to present their views.31

On 13 November, anti-riot police attacked 16 students from various
Universities participating in a ZINASU organized peaceful march in
Harare to present a petition to the parliament of Zimbabwe. The police
used excessive brutal force in dispersing the students. A male student
lost consciousness after the police attack and was ferried to hospital.32
Presentation of cases of political violence

The cases of civil and political violations during the period are tabulated
below. A total of 689 cases were recorded by ZPP for the period October to
December33. Intimidation/harassment were the most prevalent form of
violence. Torture, which had been in recession in recent months surprisingly,
came back as a prevalent form of violations.

Human rights violations have been high from the second to the last quarter of
the year. The intensity in human rights violations fluctuated and increased
from levels of 150 cases per month between January and March to peak to
250 in August.

30 Crisis Coalition press statement, 22 October 2015
31 Counseling Services Unit
32 Counseling Services Unit
33 ZPP Monthly monitors

Fig 1: Violations statistics January – December
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project Monthly Monitors

There was stability in the first quarter of the year, followed by a surge in
violations from April as shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2: Trends in violations over the year
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project Monthly Monitors

From April to July there was a steady decline in violations, which surged
between July and August, steadying at that high level before declining
between October and November. Violations forms and statistics for the
quarter are as presented in Fig 3. Harassment/intimidation remained the most


prevalent form of violation followed by discrimination in food distribution.

Fig 3: Human rights violations forms and statistics last quarter 2015
Source: Consolidated statistics from various organisations and verified
press reports

The violations statistics captured in Fig 3 do not include violations related to
house demolitions and evictions. Statistics on rights violations after housing
demolitions and evictions should be backed by verdicts on the illegality of acts
by authorities for each house demolished, without generalizations.
Generalisations of non-compliance can however be inferred prior to validation
of facts from mounted and concluded court cases. General information
acquired however confirmed that most housing demolitions and evictions
were carried out without valid court orders. Court orders are essential for
demolitions and evictions to be legal.

Violations have not been evenly distributed across the country as shown in
Fig 4. Bulawayo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South and Masvingo
recorded the least violations while most violations were recorded in
Mashonaland West, Midlands and Mashonaland Central. Although the ZPP
statistics present Mashonaland West as the hotbed of human rights violations,
consolidated statistics incorporating findings from other institutions indicated


that Harare has the highest number of human rights violations for the quarter.
These include demolitions of 250 houses on 9 and 10 December alone.

Fig 4: Distribution of violations by province
Source: ZPP Monthly Monitors

Perpetrators and victims of human rights violations October to
December 2015

The full list of perpetrators identified for the period incorporates political
parties that are ZANU PF and the MDC-T; government departments that
include the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Harare Municipal Police; and
civilian members of ZANU PF and MDC-T. The Harare Municipal Police
derived its prominence as a perpetrator institution from violating the rights
of vendors and homeowners.

The full list of victims included vendors, political party supporters, villagers,
homeowners, pupils and residents of specific communities. Among victims
during the period there was also a new category involving supporters of
the People First political party.


Section 2: Economic, Social and Cultural rights

There are constitutional guarantees for economic, social and cultural rights
(ECOSOC) rights. The social, cultural and economic environment deteriorated
in the country with the state being liable for some of the ills. The rights to
health, education, safe and clean water, work, food and freedom from
arbitrary evictions continue to be violated through the government’s inability to
progressively take all practical measures, within the limits of resources
available, to guarantee such rights.

a. Violation of the right to education
The right to education is provided for in Section 27 of the Constitution, which
states that, “The state must take practical steps to promote free and
compulsory basic education for children; and higher and tertiary education.”

In addition Section 75 of the new Constitution emphasizes the sanctity of the
right to education and that the government must take measures to achieve the
progressive realisation of this right. However, the right to education continued
to be violated as the economy continues on a downward slide. Government in
October conceded failure to fulfill its obligation to assist and protect Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Chingwizi, resulting in more than 1000 children
of IDPs failing to acquire education34. Starvation and long distances to school
combined to impede children’s access to education. Poverty countrywide was
attributed as the cause towards failure by 47 000 Ordinary and Advanced
Level pupils to drop out of school or register for examinations35. During the
quarter an education official barred an Ordinary Level schools examination
candidate from writing examinations, on the basis that the pupil had no

b. Violation of the right to health
The Constitution provides for the right to health care in Section 76 (1). The
state is obliged to put in place reasonable legislative and other measures,
within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve progressive

34 Herald 7 October 2015
35 Herald 3 November 2015
36 Herald 29 October 2015; Forum monitoring report


realisation of the rights set out in Section 76. Although government made
attempts to respect and fulfill health rights (as cited in section under the
section Development in the fulfillment of human rights), health rights were
violated through government’s acts of omission or commission. The period
witnessed work stoppages by health professionals in disgruntlement over
unpaid salaries. Government failed to remit $44 million collected from civil
servants, who make the bulk of the clients at the country’s biggest medical
insurer, to service providers37. The state controlled medical aid, Premier
Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), also engaged in what appeared to be
corrupt and controversial financial transactions, at the expense of payment for
services rendered to its clients. Aggravated private health service providers
withdrew services and compromised access to health for society members.

c. Violation of the right to work
Section 65 protects labour right. Under labour rights workers are entitled to
fair and safe labour standards; fair and reasonable wages; membership of
trade unions; collective job action; and just equitable and satisfactory
conditions of work among others. During the period under review police
waded into the violations of rights of workers. On 27 December in Kuwadzana
2 suburb, representatives of workers’ organisations, and representatives of
some civil society organisations who were planning collective job action were
subjected to brutal assaults under police custody at Kuwadzana 2 police
station. One of them sought medical treatment for injuries suffered.

d. Violation of the right to food
The right to sufficient food is provided for in Section 77(b) of the Constitution,
which compels the state to take reasonable legislative and other measures to
achieve the progressive realisation of this right. The Zimbabwe Vulnerability
Assessment Committee report (ZIMVAC) 201538 estimated that approximately
10% of the rural population would be food insecure for the period of October December
2015. The southern provinces had a high demand for cereals
during the period following very poor harvests from the 2014 – 2015 harvests.

37 Daily News 26 November 2015
38 ZIMVAC report November 2015


The country experienced a national cereal deficit of around 650 000 MT for
the 2015-16 consumption year, made worse by a 76% shortfall below the
minimum required for the Grain Marketing Board’s (GMB) Strategic Grain
Reserve. Notwithstanding these challenges, there were violations associated
with the right to food during the period under review.

Forced displacements with limited or absence of plans to manage the impacts
exacerbated the vulnerabilities of some communities to starvation. Chingwizi
IDPs formed one such community that had to live on food handouts from
donors. Demolitions of 250 houses in Harare on 9 and 10 December by
Harare City Council as well as the demolitions of 17 homesteads at
Nyangundi resettlement scheme on 28 November in Odzi similarly rendered
the communities vulnerable to starvation39. A total of 163 cases of
discrimination in food aid by ZANU PF functionaries against members or
suspected members of opposition political parties was recorded during the
period. The discrimination violated Section 56 on the right to equality and nondiscrimination.
Discrimination in food distribution has been incremental at a
time when food insecurity has been escalating. Fig 5 shows the rise in
statistics40 on the discrimination in food aid distribution.

Fig 5: Cases in food aid discrimination
39 Source: CSU



Food aid discrimination is used for coercive purposes to sanction political
choices among the electorate. During periods of famine it can be effective in
discouraging free expression of political will in the face of starvation.

a. Violation of the right to safe and clean water
Access to clean and safe water is a universal right of very citizen and is
enshrined in Section 77 of the Constitution, which compels the state to take
reasonable legislative and other measures to achieve the progressive
realisation of this right. Despite this constitutionally guaranteed right, safe and
clean water was not constantly available in many suburbs of Harare exposing
people to water-borne diseases from unclean sources. Water supplies and
quality in Harare remained a subject of controversy during the quarter, with
senior city council officials conceding that the city had no capacity to pump
required water quantities daily.41 Resultantly many suburbs such as Mabvuku,
Borrowdale, Mount Pleasant and Hatcliffe went without water for prolonged

b. Violation of the right to freedom from arbitrary eviction
Section 74 of the Constitution protects citizens of Zimbabwe from arbitrary
eviction. It states “No person may be evicted from their home, or have their
home demolished without an order of court made after considering all the
relevant circumstances”. Section 74 is supported by Section 28 on the right to
shelter that states “The State and all its institutions and agencies of
government at every level must take reasonable legislative and other
measures, within the limits of resources availble to them, to enable every
person to have acess to adequate shelter”.

Regardless of these provisions the Harare City Council (HCC) on 9 and 10
December demolished 250 homes in Budiriro and Aspindale. Some of the
demolished houses had standard and approved paperwork from HCC as well
as the Ministry of Local Government. No court orders were produced during



the demolitions in violation of section 74 of the constitution, which guarantees
freedom from arbitrary eviction. The State allowed pseudo authorities, corrupt
council staff and land barons to flourish and exploit home seekers by issuing
false paperwork for housing stands. On 28 November in Odzi some 17
homesteads were also demolished at Nyangundi resettlement scheme. A
local ZANU-PF official was responsible for this violation, which was carried
out without a court order regardless of his claim that the demolished homes
were illegally on his farm.

c. Violation of the right to property
Section 71 in the Constitution protects property rights. Section 219 (c)
mandates the Zimbabwe Republic Police Section with the duty of protecting
and securing the property of the people. Some nine (9) cases of malicious
damage to property, which are property rights violations, were documented by
ZPP for October and November alone. The demolitions of 250 homes in
Harare’s Budiriro and Aspindale surbubs were associated with wanton
destruction of property owned by the homeowners. The same applied to the
demolitions of 17 homes at Nyangundi resettlement scheme in Odzi. In the
Harare city centre vendors trading their wares were subjected to confiscation
and laying to waste their wares by municipal police. Despite provisions for
goods confisticated from vendors to be recorded and stored in a city council
warehouse until the owners have paid fines, after which they are entitled to
get their goods back, vendors have been unable to reclaim their wares42.

ZPP reported in December that farms belonging to people suspected to have
defected to People First, a new political party suspected to be led by former
Vice President Joyce Mujuru, were being invaded. Honey Bird Kop farm,
situated about 40km along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road belonging to
Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) ex-combatant, John Gazi
was invaded by ZANU PF supporters in November43.

42Zimbabwe Informal Sector’s Organisation (ZISO)43TheStandard6December



There were progressive developments in the promotion of human rights,
through for instance policy and institutional changes. Government could have
done more to show its commitment to promoting, respecting and fulfilling
human rights. Despite improvements noted in this report towards rights
fulfillment, law enforcement agencies continued to apply torture as a means of
investigating and obtaining information. Government remains reluctant to
respect civil liberties, in particular, fundamental freedoms of association,
assembly, and expression as well as media freedom. Structures of violence
documented in previous quarters remain, with the police retaining their
approach of selective application of the law and torture. Property rights
violations linked to house demolitions and evictions; torture; discrimination in
food aid; and harassment and intimidation are rising. The state in its budget
statement and mitigation for identified national challenges does not seem very
capable and committed to enable every person to enjoy economic, social and
cultural rights.


In view of the on-going violations, the Forum makes the following

-that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission makes itself more
available to receive reports against human rights violations, carried out
prompt and thorough investigates and publicise its findings in the
national interest;

-that relevant Parliamentary Portfolio Committees keep themselves
abreast of human rights developments and provide policy and practice
redress options in accordance with their mandates;

-that human rights defenders and civil society organisations generate
accurate data on human rights violations and share findings for the
adoption of cumulative, collated and factual information;

-that government commits itself to implementing the Constitution in


letter and spirit for the progressive realisation of all human rights of all
people; and

-that citizens be persistent and consistent in demanding their rights.


The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) is a coalition of 21
human rights organisations. The Forum has been in existence since January
1998 when Non-Governmental Organisations working in the field of human
rights joined together to provide legal and psychosocial assistance to the
victims of the food riots of January 1998. The Forum has now expanded its
objectives to assist victims of organized violence and torture (OVT)

The Forum has three operational units: the Public Interest Unit, the Research
and Documentation Unit and the Transitional Justice Unit.

The Forum works in close collaboration with its member organisations to
provide legal and psychosocial services to victims of OVT and to document all
human rights violations, particularly politically motivated violence.

Member organisations of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Amnesty International-Zimbabwe

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe

Civic Education Network Trust

Counseling Services Unit

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe

Justice for Children

Legal Resources Foundation

Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe

Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe

Non-violent Action and Strategies for Social Change

Research and Advocacy Unit

Students Solidarity Trust

Transparency International-Zimbabwe

Women of Zimbabwe Arise

Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights

Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

Zimbabwe Peace Project

Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum can be contacted through:
The Executive Director, Suite 4, Number 1 Raleigh Street, P.O Box 9077,
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone +263 4 772860, 770170, 770178; Fax +263 4 770177;
International Liaison Office
55 Commercial Street, London E16LT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7619 3641; Mobile: +44 7824 562 991

Email: <IntLO@ hrforum.co.zw. http://www.hrforum.org

Youth face persecution if the fail to raise $30 000 for Mugabe’s 92nd Birthday


This came as it emerged that Zanu PF youths in Manicaland had so far managed to raise $3 000 just a few days before the event.

Zanu PF national youth league political commissar Innocent Hamandishe told a Manicaland youth executive meeting in Mutare on Tuesday that it was unacceptable for any province to fail to raise funds for Mugabe’s bash while also issuing a stern warning against any attempts to disturb the event.

“We are expecting Manicaland to send many people for Mugabe’s birthday bash because you are near Masvingo. We are going to give you one bus, but that does not mean that you should not send your own buses,’’ he said.

“We are expecting you to behave and if we see people within your province misbehaving in Masvingo, trying to heckle officials, we will summon your executive. We know there are people who might have a different agenda. Your province is expected to raise the required money. Failure to do so can see some people being fired.’’

Acting Zanu PF Manicaland youth chairman Mubuso Chinguno assured the national executive that the province would raise the required amount through a dinner dance to be held at a hotel tomorrow.

“We are assuring you that everything is in order. Last week, we were busy giving companies letters pleading with them to assist us and this week, we are now making follow-ups and we are going to have a dinner dance where tables are going to be sold,’’ he said.

But some of the youths accused the provincial executive led by Samuel Undenge of sabotaging their fundraising initiatives by not forcing companies to make donations towards the event.

“We are in trouble at the moment and we also need the help of our local leadership. We are not saying that they should be at the forefront, but we also need their voice to add weight to our fundraising campaigns,’’ one youth leader said.

However, Manicaland vice-chairperson Joseph Mujati said: “There might be problems here and there, but we are going to discuss it at our provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Mutare this Sunday,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF national deputy secretary for youth Kudzi Chipanga during the Mutare meeting backtracked on the issue of making February 21, Robert Mugabe Day, saying it should be instead Youth Day.

“The issue of the 21st February Movement which we have been making noise all along to make it a national holiday, we no longer want it to be Robert Mugabe Day, but we now want it to be Youth Day because we have no other day on our calendar,’’ he said.

“It shall be on that day we are going celebrate the legacy of our President Robert Mugabe. Workers will not go to work on the day to celebrate the life of our President. Youths play a very important role in the country, so we should have a chance to celebrate them. We have written our request to relevant authorities and very soon we are going to have that day.’’

Gallivanting Mugabe, govt taking people for granted

Robert has become a very selfish inconsiderate old man who is essentially thieving from the state. So detached from the Povo. I remember when I was young before the it all went pear shape when he said, ”This is my Country” and the wife, Grace, followed up with another statement on several occasions, ” You are my people”. And I thought to myself what a load of rubbish but surprisingly they got applauds and then I again thought to myself maybe its a deaf crowd.

Owen Gagare

In what many saw as an admission the Zanu PF government was struggling to turnaround the economy, Mugabe went on to ask civil servants to sacrifice themselves for the good of the country.

“To our workers, civil servants, we are truly sorry and when we say we are experiencing difficulties in paying you, please bear with us because these are difficult times which call for sacrifice from all of us,” Mugabe said.

The irony of Mugabe’s plea, though, was that it was made a few minutes after arriving from the Far East where he had gone for a holiday at a time the economy is on a downward spiral.

Zimbabweans have a right to question Mugabe’s duplicity of asking civil servants to be patient and understanding because “these are difficult times which call for sacrifice from all of us” while he and top government officials are not sacrificing.

The Office of the President and Cabinet gobbled US$38,3 million on travel and residences between January and October last year up from US$29,2 million.

Government spends millions of dollars every year to buy state-of-the-art vehicles for top government officials, who continue to enjoy luxurious lifestyles. This is typified by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s refusal to live in a “cheap” US$3 million house when the government is broke.

Mugabe told Zanu PF supporters his family had taken the opportunity to go for medical check-ups, with Grace undergoing an operation to remove her appendix — a procedure that can easily be done locally.
Government sources also indicated that the president had undergone an operation, although he did not mention it.

Like many top government officials, Mugabe and his family shun local medical institutions in favour of prestigious foreign ones where they get first-class treatment, which is no longer available locally thanks to Zanu PF’s ruinous policies over the years.

Ordinary Zimbabweans are however expected to go to the badly-equipped health institutions, shunned by their leaders.

The same scenario is replicated in other sectors where the chefs’ children go to private schools where they sit for Cambridge University examinations, which will allow them to have easier access to foreign universities. By contrast, the politicians expect children of ordinary Zimbabweans to write examinations run by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council, which is not widely acknowledged outside Zimbabwe.

A social commentator Dumisani Nkomo says Mugabe’s action shows that he has not only given up on the economy, but he no longer cares for his people.

He said Mugabe’s action showed that he is both “careless and callous”.

“A leader is supposed to lead by example. Going out of the country at a time teachers and other civil servants have not been paid is not exemplary,” said Nkomo. “You would expect the government to cut down on trips and other trinkets, cut down on cars allocated to the ministers and so on, to show that they are aware that we are going through a difficult period. We have not seen that with our government. The only example we saw was David Coltart who refused an expensive car (during the inclusive government era).”

Nkomo said the fact that Mugabe went for an extended holiday while the economy is on the ropes was also testimony that he did not have an idea of solving the economic crisis.

“He can go for a lengthy holiday because he knows that even if he was at home he can’t offer solutions to fix the economy,” he said. “The fact that he has to go overseas for health check-ups and operations is a vote of no confidence in the economy. It’s a vote of no confidence in the health delivery system. It’s an admission that the health delivery system has collapsed.”

Nkomo’s sentiments, ironically, mirror those of the late Nathan Shamuyarira, a long-time ally and confidant of Mugabe who once wrote: “A good leader travels less and spends more time with his people.”

Shamuyarira was writing for South African magazine Drum in 1963 on the reasons Mugabe and others had split from Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu to form Zanu that year.

Gwinyai Dzinesa, a senior lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa said it was not surprising to see Mugabe using his retreats to undergo medical check-ups, as he has always done so, even during times when the country was experiencing serious economic problems.

“The attacks on the presidential vacations are not new as President Mugabe has received flak from the left, over his frequent Far East trips even at the height of the 2000-2008 economic decline,” he said.

“The recent trips play into the hands of critics of President Mugabe as disengaged and fiddling while the country, particularly its economy, burns.

“Indeed, there is a common trend of African leaders seeking medical treatment, and even taking their last breaths on hospital beds in affluent foreign countries far removed from the run-down health care systems back home. The most recent cases include Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of Nigeria, John Atta Mills of Ghana, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Malam Bacai Sanhá of Guinea Bissau and Zambia’s Michael Sata.”

Dzinesa said Mugabe and other African leaders seek medical attention abroad possibly because “they can afford the best medical treatment that money can buy”.

He also said the need to maintain a veil of secrecy around their health and fitness to stay at the helm was also the reason for seeking foreign treatment.

“There remains concern that some of these leaders have presided over the collapse of public services such as education and health in their countries leaving their struggling citizens to the caprices of these shambolic systems,” Dzinesa said.