Three Hurungwe children survive in a suspected arson attack
Three children escaped death by a whisker while property worth hundreds of dollars was destroyed after a hut belonging to a ZimRights member and Pastor with Africa Maranatha Faith Ministries, Lloyd Mapfumo caught fire in a suspected case of arson.
The incident happened on the 2nd of September 2020 around midnight. On the 8th of October 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Human Rights Monitoring team together with Mashonaland West Provincial Chairperson Isaac Chamonyonga visited Mapfumo’s residence in Mahwadu village under Chief Dendera in ward 23 of Hurungwe Central in Mashonaland West Province.
Pool of Death –Lifeline for Epworth Residents
On the 9th of September 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) monitoring team together with the Harare Provincial Vice Chairperson, Ms Sarah Njanji visited Solani area in Epworth where the community has experienced water problems since years back. ZimRights learnt that fighting a pandemic has brought a new normal to Zimbabweans, and the worst economic crisis in a decade - residents of Epworth, are burdened with yet another challenge, water crisis. This has made living a nightmare in the dormitory town.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under General Comment 15 states, “everyone is entitled to available, physically accessible, affordable, acceptable and quality potable water. Even the constitution of Zimbabwe implores the state to ensure the provision of quality water, however Epworth residents are using water from the Pool of death, a disused quarry dam. Are they forgotten?
Belvedere West families left homeless after their houses were demolished
On the 3rd of September 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) human rights monitoring team visited Belvedere West, where the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has destroyed houses that were built on illegal land, leaving many families homeless. The demolition came two days before the residents had been warned to demolish and vacate the area - which was a follow up to a 2019 court order for them to vacate as the area is said to be a cantonment.
While ZimRights observes the court order was in accordance with the provisions of the Zimbabwean Constitution (Section 74), which states that “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”, the nature of the demolitions , which began during the night, is a cause for concern as it exposed the affected families, including children to the harsh weather elements. ZimRights also learnt that some of the affected residents were forced to take part in the demolitions and those who refused or were deemed slow were subjected to assault.
Retreat Farm residents houses demolished as lockdown measures are tightened
On the 20th of July 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) human rights monitoring team visited the Retreat farm, where the Harare City Council has left hundreds of people homeless. ZimRights learnt that on the 14th of July 2020, the Harare Municipal Police distributed eviction notices to each and every household and the notice ordered the residents to demolish their structures and vacate the area within 48hrs. This follows an increase in the number of home seekers who were illegally being settled in areas reserved for railway lines and other amenities at Retreat Farm just outside Waterfalls in Harare.
Section 74 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that “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”.
Extra Judicial Killing in Silobela: Zimrights Raises Concern
On July 9, 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association’s (ZimRights) Human Rights Monitoring team led by the Midlands Provincial Chairperson, Mr Martin Bongozozo, visited Khanye Village in Ward 21 under Chief Malisa – a kilometre from Cross Roads Shopping Centre – following up on the report of the shooting of Bhekani Moyo (20) on the 15th of March 2020 by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
ZimRights learnt that six (6) armed Silobela Police Officers raided Moffat Moyo's (father to the deceased) homestead early morning around 0400hrs. The raid was in connection with a case of assault.
Police indiscriminately fire live ammunition at vendors injuring one in the process
On July 6, 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) human rights monitoring team led by Chitungwiza Regional Chairperson Mr Amidu Ali, visited the Jambanja area in Unit L, Chitungwiza to verify shooting of vendors by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
ZimRights learnt that the raid by Police occurred at around 1400hrs at the busy market place where informal traders were selling their wares. Upon noticing the unexpected arrival of the police, as usual most vendors fled from impending arrest, including Sam Zharare (28) who was selling groceries from the back of his Toyota Vitz vehicle.
Thousands of Chilonga families threatened with Evictions
On June 18, 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) visited Chilonga in Chikombedzi under Chiredzi East Constituency, where approximately 1000 villagers are facing potential eviction to pave way for a Lucern grass project.
Dendairy, a private milk producing company is said to have been given the green light to occupy 10 000 hectares of arable land for the grass farming project on the south of Runde River and this has potential effect of dispossessing the Shangani people of their ancestral land they have occupied as far back as before independence. The Shangani people are a minority ethnic group found in South East of Zimbabwe, mainly Chiredzi South and their livelihoods are based on mixed farming.
48 Hours Eviction Notice for Bella-Paise Residents in Epworth
On the 20th of June 2020 Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), led by Harare Vice Chair Ms Sarah Njanji - visited Epworth's Bella-Paise Estate, formerly McDonald's farm (kwaDhonoro) to verify a case of illegal eviction of residents - a threat to their right to shelter. ZimRights learnt that on the 19th of June 2020, 2 truckloads of Harare Municipal Police numbering close to a hundred, arrived and distributed eviction notices to every household and the notice ordered the residents to demolish their structures and vacate the area within 48hrs.
Section 74 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that “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.”
Chikukwa Villagers up in arms against their local headman
On the 10th of June 2020, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) visited Chikukwa village, under Chief Chiweshe, in ward 9 of Mashonaland Central Province to verify cases involving abuse of office and illegal sale of land by the local village head.
This came after concerned villagers contacted ZimRights seeking assistance. ZimRights visited the village, 80km outside Harare and managed to interview 5 of the victims who incuded 3 elderley women and 2 men. These victims complained against the headmen whom they accused of abusing his authority by seeking to forcefully evict the villagers from the village. Furthermore, the villagers claim that the headman abused funds from a monthly tax that the villagers pay.
ZimRights visit reveal Mukaradzi Human Rights Violations by State Agents
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)'s visit to Mukaradzi area on the 10th of June 2020, revealed that several cases of human rights violations have been perpetuated by State Security Agents against artisan miners.
Mukaradzi valley, located about 20 kilometres South East of Mount Darwin, under Chief Matope, has gold-rich deposits discovered back in the 1980s. Thousands of men, women and youths camp at this area for survival, engaging in artisanal mining and vending.