Click on the link below to download the Pathways to Peace and Reconciliation publication
On 10 October 2017, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), launched a blitz Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise across the country. The blitz was a follow up to the launch of the BVR by former President, Robert Mugabe on the 18th of September 2017. Several Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including Heal Zimbabwe noted that the process was rolled out against a background where there was lack of robust voter education around the new voter registration exercise exposing the process to manipulation by politicians.
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Our first publication is titled: Pathways to Peace and Reconciliation: Literature Lessons for Zimbabwe. The paper reviews the reconciliation discourse and examines how reconciliation could be implemented in Zimbabwe. The review discusses Zimbabwe’s conflict legacy and its implications for transitional justice. It also provides various approaches that the NPRC and national healing and reconciliation stakeholders could consider when facilitating reconciliation interventions. We conclude that there is national readiness from the communities, but political will is a requisite towards creating a conducive national healing, peace and reconciliation environment.
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Annexure: Specific Cases Recorded:
Midlands Gokwe South ward 33
ZANU PF ward Chairman, Johnson Sithole and Peter Mbakadha (a retired soldier) on 27 August intimidated community members during a community sports tournament organised by Hon Miriam Makweya at Nyamacheni Business Centre in ward 33. Sithole and Mbakadha threatened all opposition supporters with violence if they continue campaigning for their political parties in the area. The two indicated that the directive was coming from the ZANU PF MP for Gokwe Mapfungautsi Miriam Makweya.
Gokwe South ward 19
Gokwe-Kana Member of Parliament Hon Owen Ncube intimidated village heads during a ZANU PF meeting conducted at Kudiwa Business centre on the 12th of September 2017. Hon Ncube ordered village heads to compile names of community members within their jurisdiction and make sure they register to vote and vote for ZANU PF in the pending 2018 elections. He further threatened that all those who defy shall be dethroned from their positions.
Mashonaland East Maramba ward 6
ZANU PF District Political Commissar, Tendai Zihwa intimidated community members during a ZANU PF restructuring meeting at Saparanyambuya ward centre on the 22nd of August 2017. Zihwa addressed the meeting where he barred opposition political parties from conducting any activities in the area. He went further to state that all known opposition supporters in the area will be assisted to vote in the 2018 elections.
Mudzi North ward 1
Mudzi North Member of Parliament Hon Newton Kachepa on the 12th of September 2017 intimidated community members during a Rally that took place at Nyamapanda Growth Point. MP Kachepa declared that everyone in the constituency must vote for ZANU PF or risk being beaten up like what transpired during the 2008 election violence.
Mudzi North ward 1
Intimidation and forced attendance to political gatherings.
ZANU PF youth led by Gift Tembo, John Karonga and Tatenda Karonga intimidated and forced community members to attend a rally addressed by Mudzi North Member of Parliament, Newton Kachepa on the 12th of September 2017 at Nyamapanda Growth Point. The three ordered vendors in the growth point to close their kiosks and attend the rally. They threatened those who tried to resist with violence. The victims had no option but to oblige.
Mashonaland Central Mt Darwin ward 31 –
ZANU PF District Chairperson Emerson Climate, Village head Chimbuwe and Headman Kaitano intimidated community members during a ZANU PF restructuring meeting on the 27th of August 2017 in Mumba Village. The three took turns to threaten community members with violence if they campaign for opposition political parties in the area.
Mt Darwin North ward 3
Chief Chiswiti on the 1st of September 2017 forced village heads to chant ZANU PF slogans during a community meeting held at Gomo Primary School. The Chief threatened the village heads with violence if ZANU PF fails to win the 2018 elections.
Muzarabani South ward 22
Ward 22 Councillor Sarudzai Mutyavaviri and Darlington Mungwariri, a ZANU PF member intimidated community members during a ZANU PF restructuring exercise at Chaona Business Centre on the 27th of August 2017. The two threatened community members with evictions if they are caught supporting opposition political parties.
Muzarabani South ward 20
ZANU PF District Chairman Jack Chawurira intimidated community members during a meeting conducted in the ward centre on the 1st of September 2017. Chawurira ordered village heads to compile names of eligible voters in the area and make sure they all vote for ZANU PF in the upcoming 2018 elections. He further threatened that those who fail to vote for ZANU PF will be known and exposed as the new BVR process allows them to monitor voting patterns.
Muzarabani North ward 17
Village head George Bumhira assaulted Nelson Shengweni an MDC T member on the 22nd of August 2017 in Muchembere village. The village head accused the victim of disrespecting ZANU PF people by passing through a ZANU PF gathering. Shengweni sustained head injuries and had to be treated at Hoya Clinic. The case has since been reported to the local police station but no arrests have been made.
Mazowe Central ward 12
Forced Contribution to political gatherings.
Five unidentified ZANU PF youth moved around the ward forcing community members to make $0.50 contributions on the 4th of September 2017. The youths highlighted that the $0.50 contributions were for transporting people to the Presidential youth interface rally held in Bindura on the 9 th of September 2017 at Chipadze stadium.
Manicaland Nyanga North ward 9
Village head Doreen Mandidewa forced community members to reveal the political parties they support for them to receive food aid. This happened in Mandidewa village on the 15th of September 2017 during an aid distribution meeting. Everyone present had to declare that they support ZANU PF for them to receive agricultural inputs donated under the Command Agriculture programme.
Masvingo Bikita West Ward 9
The house belonging to Enerst Manjonjo an MDC supporter was burnt to ashes on the 26th of August 2017 by suspected ZANU PF youth. A Police report was made at Bikita Police Station but no arrests or evidence of investigations have commenced to date.
Mashonaland West Hurungwe West ward 15 –
Forced attendance to political gatherings.
Village head Aleck Muzazi forced and intimidated community members to attend ZANU PF restructuring meetings on the 4th of September 2017 at Chiedza Business Centre. Muzazi highlighted that all who defied his order are “sell-outs” who will be heavily beaten in the coming elections.
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Click on the link below to download the Report by the Portfolio Committee on Justice,Legal and Parliamentary on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill
Mwenezi East Constituency held a by-election to elect a new National Assembly representative on 8 April 2017. The seat fell vacant after the death of Honourable Joshua Moyo of Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF). A proclamation for the by-election was made according to the Electoral Act and 8 April 2017 was set as the byelection date. Four candidates successfully managed to file their nomination papers, with Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti withdrawing before Election Day citing intimidation of his supporters and many other irregularities in the campaign period. A total of 20 220 citizens cast their votes during the one-day plebiscite at 62 polling stations across the eight wards making the constituency. Total registered voters were 47 086 meaning a voter turnout of 41, 9% down from 58, 6% in 2013. Joosbi Omar of ZANU PF secured victory with 18 700 votes while Welcome Masuku of National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) had 482 votes and Turner Nhango of Free Zimbabwe Congress Party (Free-Zim) had 386 votes. The by-election was largely peaceful with isolated cases of intimidation reported. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) abided by most of the administrative electoral regulations. However irregularities in the electoral boundaries were noted where voter population variances amongst wards were inconsistent to the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 161(6). The by-election saw attempts by state institutions to implement Section 133J of the Electoral Act by physically and publicly setting up shop on election site.
Click the link below to download the full Mwenezi East by-election preliminary report
Click on the link below to download the Heal Zimbabwe January 2017 Conflict update report
Heal Zimbabwe observed that the balloting day was undoubtedly peaceful, albeit few
incidences of intimidation. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Police were able
to maintain order within polling stations and broadly within the constituency. Only violations
were recorded that involved intimidation and recording of people’s at the polling station.
However, the political environment before the polling day was outstandingly polarised with
intimidation (56%), vote buying1 and partisan distribution of food aid and farming inputs
(21%). There were also isolated cases of assault (1%), disrupted political gatherings (1%),
forced attendance to political gatherings (12%) and destruction of campaign materials (9%)
Click on the link below to download the Bikita West by election report
Heal Zimbabwe notes with great concern the growing number of human rights violations recorded this week (16 – 20 January 2017). Heal Zimbabwe has recorded a total of 36 human rights violations that include Intimidation with threats of violence and of withdrawal of food aid (18 cases), Forced attendance to political gatherings (8 cases), unfair distribution of food aid/vote buying (8 cases) and assault (2).
ZANU PF conducted its last campaign rally at Nyika growth point that was addressed by Vice President, Phekezela Mphoko on 18 January 2017. Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) also conducted a campaign rally at Nyika growth point on 19 January 2017 that was addressed by party President, Joyce Mujuru.Cick on the link below to download the Bikita West by election update
Heal Zimbabwe recorded human rights violations in all the 11 wards in Bikita West constituency unlike in the last instalment observations (published on 12 January 2016) where 9 of the 11 wards had a record of violations. The continuous involvement of traditional leaders in mobilising citizens to political gatherings and in perpetuating political intimidation remains unacceptable as it is against the constitution (Section 281-282). However, it is plausible that there are no visible cases of torture, murder abductions and other gross human rights violations.
Citizens should become more conscious of their surroundings in order to protect themselves from violence and intimidation. We anticipate a further increase on intimidation cases and a surge in forced participation in political gatherings given the number of scheduled mega rallies in the next few days. Political canvassing will intensify in these campaign finishing days. We also implore political parties and independent candidates to campaign peacefully and desist from using violent strategies that are likely to compromise the participation of Bikita West voters.
Click the link below to download the Bikita West By-election update