GNU fails to end rights violations: ZPP

zanupfsupporters_sing(Pictured: Zanu (PF) supporters Non-supporters of Mugabes party have been denied state provided food aid and other support)


The unity government of President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara has largely failed to end politically motivated violence and human rights abuses, according to the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has said.

The group, which monitors politically motivated violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, said in a report released last week that in fact the country witnessed in the month of December 2009 an increase in politically motivated human rights abuses, particularly in relation to harassment and assaults.

The Jestina Mukoko-led ZPP noted that food and other forms of aid continue to be used as a weapon to cow members of the public to submit or confirm allegiance to Zanu (PF) and that many non-Zanu (PF) members were denied farming inputs. Excerpts from the report:

December 2009 recorded an increase in incidences of politically motivated human rights abuses with a total of 986 from the 890 in November 2009 cases. Harassments and assaults categories recorded the highest of the acts accounting for 801, with 575 cases being harassments while 226were assaults. Midlands [195], Manicaland [193] and Masvingo [160] remained consistent with high incidence of politically motivated

violence.

A cumulative violations toll of 14 725 cases were recorded in the year 2009 compared to the 23 755 in 2008.

Statistical trends

Compared to the month of Novembers toll of1098, at total of 1153 victims were recorded in the month (December) under review. Looking at the trends, it is noted that that the MDCT victim toll remains consistently high with 761, while Zanu (PF) [165], MDC-M 20, unknowns [205].

From a gender perspective, analysed trends reveal that the figure for male victims is always higher than that of the female victims. Although there was a slight increase in the number of victims [male – 830 (75%) and female 274 (25%)] showing a decrease and increase of 1% respectively.

A total figure of 1352 perpetrators, was recorded in the month of December. Of the 1352 perpetrators recorded in the period under review, 938 were Zanu (PF), 163 MDC T, 10 MDC, 12 state and 65 unknowns. Like in the analysis of victims, male perpetrators also constitute the bulk of the recorded perpetrators, numbering 1138 [88%] while 153 [12%] were female. The charts below show the violation spread by gender and by political party.

The statistical trends in the period under review have generally increased , in view of the prevailing circumstances in the political, social and economical arenas. The month of December hosted the Zanu (PF) congress, in addition to the already existing outstanding issues including the Inclusive Government instabilities and negotiations, the slow or rather delayed constitutional making process, the institutional (government) audit in light of the alleged ghost workers on the government payroll.

All these and other events contribute to the reading of the trends. Although the three principals to the GNU called for the nations patience at a joint press conference held on December 23,2009, analysis of circumstances have revealed that the issues at stake are the major causes of political violence within the communities as rifts amongst the three continue to widen.

Constitutional reforms

Records have shown that these violations incline mostly toward harassments/intimidations, assaults and discrimination mainly evolving around the constitutional making process and inclusive government. In all provinces save for Bulawayo, people were victimized for wearing T/shirts especially those from civil organisations (ZIMRIGHTS), party regalia, participation or non-participation in political events (meetings).

In Masvingo, Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Midlands the political parties (Zanu PF) are holding meetings mobilizing people to participate in the thematic committees for the constitutional making process.

It is at these meetings where people are intimidated and threatened with unspecific actions if they do not support the Kariba Draft as the basis for the new constitution. Some civic organizations are on the other hand mobilizing for a people driven constitution thus the heightening of tensions with the political parties in the communities.

Political affiliation, still remains a cause for political violations as people continue being victimized for belonging to different political parties. At Sengwe village in Chikomba Central [Mashonaland] an old man was allegedly assaulted and forced to attend a Zanu (PF) meeting at which he was made to surrender his MDC T party T/shirt.

By and large, the spread of violence at a provincial level was higher than the November figures with Midlands recording the highest with 195[20% ], followed by Manicaland with 193 [19%] and Masvingo 160 [16%].

Midlands has registered an increase of 27% as compared to the November toll. Manicaland recorded a 20% surge in the incidences. The graph below gives a representation of violence spread throughout Zimbabwe.

Food aid

As in previous months, food and other forms of aid continue to be used as a weapon to cow members of the public to submit or confirm their allegiance to the Zanu (PF) party. The month of December saw a lot of non-Zanu (PF) members being denied farming inputs for reasons that the inputs were sourced under a scheme dubbed Presidential Aid.

Zanu (PF) members deliberately denied access of seed and fertilizer to those they suspected to be non-members. In a few cases, members of the public have been harassed and asked to produce Zanu (PF) cards in order to get food, medical or education assistance.

In Lupane at Manyezwa village, people were denied access to farming inputs allegedly received from the Presidential scheme. It is said the inputs were delivered at a Zanu (PF) supporters house and when people heard, they went and queued for distribution and on realizing the amongst the people queuing were those that did not belong to Zanu (PF) people were told that the distribution was postponed.

After people left, notice was given to all known Zanu (PF) supporters to come and collect their inputs that very night thus all non Zanu (PF) supporters were discriminated.

Since January 2009, a cumulative figure of 4767 violations around issues of distribution of food and other forms of aid were recorded. The highest violations are those of discrimination and harassment in the form of people being denied food relief, government subsidized food, and farm inputs mainly on partisan grounds.

The month of December recorded a total of 204 cases, 184 acts of discrimination, 20 cases of harassments and nil for violence . Midlands, Mashonaland and Manicaland recorded most of these cases. Below please see the cumulative table and graph showing the spread of food and other forms of aid related violations since 2008.

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