ZIMBABWE recorded 384 human rights violations during the just-ended election period, with Manicaland and Harare topping the list, a Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) report has revealed.
The report reveals that the most common human rights violations were intimidation, violence and malicious damage to property.
In Harare, there were 98 cases of human rights violations, while Manicaland recorded 70 cases.
“Human rights violations continued on a high trend during the month of elections. ZPP recorded 384 human rights violations, a huge increase from 301 in July 2023. Fifty-nine percent of the violations were threats, harassment, and intimation, 16% assault and 9% malicious damage to property. ZPP identified 8 832 victims of human rights violations (51% male, 48% female, 0,11% male persons with disability (PWDs) and 0,12% female PWDs),” the report read.
The elections, held on August 23 and 24, were reportedly marred by violence, with the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) election observer mission saying the polls fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
ZPP also indicated that the perpetrators of the violations were mainly ruling Zanu PF party supporters and Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) members.
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“The general citizens constituted the highest percentage of victims, 86%, and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters followed with 12%. Zanu PF party perpetrated most of the violations (37%), followed by Forever Associate Zimbabwe (FAZ) at 28%. Harare (98) and Manicaland (70) provinces recorded the highest violations, while Matabeleland North (11) and Bulawayo (14) had the lowest,” the report read.
According to the report, FAZ members threatened to assault voters who failed to visit their “exit survey desk”. “Citizens reported that Zanu PF affiliate organisation FAZ was forcing people to register their names with them for unknown reasons. Citizens were told to visit the FAZ desk, which was mounted 300 metres away from the polling station, before and after casting their votes.
“This was most prevalent in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland, Midlands and some parts of Mashonaland West. In Gwanda North ward 4 it was noted that FAZ member Dennis Moyo was telling citizens that they needed to tabulate results with Zec so that Zanu PF wins elections,” it added.
The United States embassy also lamented rising cases of politically-motivated violence.
“We are concerned by reports of continued politically-motivated violence and intimidation post-election. Every person, no matter their political affiliation, has the right to live free of fear and to be treated fairly under the law,” it tweeted.
But FAZ president Kudakwashe Munsaka dismissed the report saying it was misleading.
“Firstly, we never contributed to any human rights violations as an organisation. The report shows that the big lie was not only false, but also premeditated well in advance of election day. Secondly, we would want to know the methodology used by ZPP to arrive at such a misleading conclusion. There were some unfortunate factual distortions on important issues. The report should also tell us the percentage contributed by ERC, Pachedu, and Zesn. If not, then the report is misleading, vague, self-contradictory and concocted,” Munsaka said.