ZimRights on the Swearing in of the Fake Representatives
09 October 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) notes with concern the attack on democracy and violation of the electorate’s choice through the swearing in of the “Fake” members of Parliament and senators on 07 October 2020.
Fifteen MDC T members were sworn in as members of Parliament and senators to replace those in the MDC Alliance proportional representation and Senators who were recalled following factional fights in the main opposition party.
The National Assembly proportional representatives reserved for women are filled from party lists based on the proportion of votes party candidates for constituencies garnered in the last general election. It is based on this, that ZimRights feels saddened that in 2018, the electorate voted for the candidates under MDC Alliance despite that there was a choice on the ballot. It is therefore unfathomable that Dr Thokozani Khupe who ironically fielded her own candidates against the recalled MPs in the 2018 elections and garnered about 45 000 votes has been brought back as the leader of the opposition through a supreme court ruling which conferred her legitimacy in the acting capacity.
On the International Day for Universal Access to Information
27 September 2020
On 28 September 2020, the International Day for Universal Access to Information, ZimRights will launch its new media bouquet – ZimRightsLIVE. ZimRights LIVE brings together ZimRights’ media platforms incorporating its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Podcast. In addition, ZimRights will launch its brand new YouTube Channel. These tools are part of ZimRights’ Digital Activism Strategy designed to provide a variety of tools for human rights activists to undertake positive acts to advance the human rights cause.
Speaking ahead of the launch, ZimRights National Director Dzikamai Bere said ZimRights’ Digital Activism Strategy was meant to bring human rights information and advocacy tool into the hands of as many people as possible at the touch of a button.
Zimbabwe: FIDH and ZimRights Deplore Persecution of Dissenters
25 September 2020
Paris, Harare. 11 September 2020 — The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), welcome yesterday’s acquittal of human rights defender Godfrey Kurauone, who was detained arbitrarily in Zimbabwe for over a month, while denouncing the judicial harassment suffered by civil society members speaking out against the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Press Statement On the occasion of the International Day of Peace
21 September 2020
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace which was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. In 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The commemorations this year run under 2020 theme “Shaping Peace Together.” The day will be celebrated by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic.
Statement on ZINASU and Journalist Attack near Impala Car Rental Premises
18 September 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) notes with concern the attack by unknown people on ZINASU members who were addressing a press conference, journalist who were in attendance near Impala Car Rental premises and the subsequent arrest of Takudzwa Ngadziore the ZINASU president.
ZINASU members have been demanding answers from Impala Car Rental Offices in Harare on the role the company played in the abduction of a second-year journalism student at MSU, Tawanda Muchehiwa who was abducted and tortured by some unidentified individuals in Bulawayo on July 30, a day ahead of the much-anticipated #July31 anti-corruption protests.
Congratulatory Statement on the Appointment of Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Commissioners
31 August 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), congratulates Dr Angeline Guvamombe, Mrs. Dorothy Moyo, Mrs Beauty Kajese, Dr Cowen Dziva and Mr. Brian Penduka on their recent appointment to serve as commissioners in the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).
ZimRights appreciates the diversity of your skills and your interest in wanting to promote human rights in the country. ZimRights believes your appointment advances the fulfillment of the commission’s objectives which among others is to promote awareness and respect of human rights in the country.
Press Statement on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
30 August 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joins the world, the local human rights community and Zimbabweans in commemorating International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances marked on 30 August each year.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance states that an enforced disappearance, which is a crime against humanity, occurs when:
"persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law."
Press Release: ZimRights Condemns the Extra-Judicial Killing of Lavender Chiwaya in Mashonaland West
21 August 2020
ZimRights is greatly disturbed by the reports of the extrajudicial killing of the MDC-Alliance’s District Coordinating Chairperson, Councillor Lavender Chiwaya (34) of Ward 4 Hurungwe Central in Karoi, Mashonaland West. Reports are that Chiwaya’s body was found dumped on his doorstep. The MDC-A reports that Chiwaya was being hunted by state agents before his killing.
ZimRights condemns the extra-judicial killing of people for exercising their freedom of association.
Chiwaya represents what ZimRights identified as the many invisible victims of ongoing crackdown on activists whose lives are in danger for exercising their rights. Their lives are more in danger because they are away from the limelight. ZimRights believes their lives matter. In the citizens cry, #ZimbabweanLivesMatter, the life of Chiwaya is included. One life lost for any reason is too much.
Statement on the denial of bail for Chin’ono, Ngarivhume, and Kurauone
06 August 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) is concerned with the continued persecution and detainment of Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono which does not conform to the constitutional provisions of the Right to Liberty and freedom of expression.
The arrest and prosecution of Hopewell followed after he expressed concern about the issues of corruption in our country. The journalist, through his social media, supported an organized, peaceful demonstration against corruption. An exercise of guaranteed rights, section 60 (1) of the constitution provides for the freedom of conscience.
Statement on the Continued Detention of Chin’ono, Ngarivhume, and Kurauone
03 August 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association notes with concern the inordinate delay in coming up with the determination of bail for Transform Zimbabwe President Jacob Ngarivhume, Journalists Hopewell Chin’ono and denial of bail for Masvingo Urban Ward 4 councilor Godfrey Kurauone.
The High Court on Monday postponed bail determination ruling for Ngarivhume and Chin’ono to the 6th of August. Bail Application is a fundamental right as enshrined in section 49 of the constitution that states every person has a right to liberty.
Arbitrary arrest of Tsitsi Dangarembga: a worrying turn in the systematic repression of civil society in Zimbabwe
03 August 2020
Paris-Geneva, August 3, 2020 – The women’s rights defender and renowned writer Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested last Friday while she was participating in an anti-corruption march in Harare. She was released on bail on Saturday, August 1. Her arrest is indicative of an intensification in the systematic repression of civil society in Zimbabwe, said the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH-OMCT), calling for the charges against the writer to be dropped.
ZimRights Condemns the Language of Hate and Threats of Violence by the ZANU PF Acting Spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa
27 July 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) expresses its shock and concern at the increasing language of hate coming mainly from ZANU PF ahead of the opposition-led July 31 protests. Addressing journalists at the ZANU PF Headquarters on 27 July 2020, the acting ZANU PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa labelled the opposition MDC Alliance a ‘terrorist organization’, United States Ambassador ‘a thug’ and civil society ‘evil society’. Mr. Chinamasa went on to incite violence asking ZANU PF supporters to attack any people who will protest against corruption on July 31.
Statement on the Arrest of Jacob Ngarivhume and Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono for Standing Up Against Corruption
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) notes with concern the arrest of Transform Zimbabwe President Jacob Ngarivhume who is the convener for the 31 July Protest and Journalists Hopewell Chin’ono who has been exposing government corruption on social media.
Ngarivhume has been calling on Zimbabweans to exercise their right to demonstrate on 31 July against corruption, poverty and failure by government to address the economic problems in the country that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 induced lockdown. ZimRights understands that Ngarivhume is in police custody.
ZimRights Calls on the Human Rights Community to Stand Up Against Capitalk 100.4 FM For Violation of Human Rights
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) condemns the violation of human rights by Capitalk 100.4 FM.
On 25 June 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) held a sponsored radio programme on Capitalk 100.4 FM on Torture and Ending Impunity. The programme featured the Forum’s Chairperson and torture survivor Jestina Mukoko, Counseling Services Unit Executive Director Dr. Frances Lovemore, NTJWG Thematic Leader for Survivors of Political Violence, as well as the ZimRights National Director Dzikamai Bere. While the programme was live on air, the studio was invaded by a male person, whose name or role could not be ascertained at the time of compiling this statement. The invader started verbally abusing the show host, asking him why he had brought people to talk about torture on radio. The clearly angry invader did not give the host time to explain as he went on an unrestricted verbal attack. Without any warning, the radio programme was terminated as chaos took over the studio.
Statement on Commissioners of Integrity
Citizens Call on the Selection and Appointment of Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Commissioners
The Parliament, through the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO), has shortlisted a total of 23 persons for interviews out of a list of 32 nominated for possible appointment to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). This is to fill four vacancies that have arisen upon the expiry of the incumbents’ term of office. The interviews will be carried out on the 3rd of July 2020 at the National Assembly Chamber, Parliament Building Harare.
The ZHRC is one of five independent commissions provided for in Chapter 12 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. In line with the United Nation’s Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (The Paris Principles), the ZHRC is meant to play a critical role in the promotion and protection of fundamental rights in Zimbabwe.
The World Stopped! Torture Didn't!
On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joins the world, and the local human rights community in commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture under the theme ‘The World Stopped! Torture Didn’t!’
On 26 June each year, the world marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This year 2020, this date is historical as it marks 33 years since the United Nations Convention Against Torture came into force in 1987.
Zimrights National Council Statement on Proposed Amendments to the Constitution
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) National Council (the Council) met from 9 to 11 June 2020 at ZimRights House in Harare. Among other matters, the National Council reflected on the proposed Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 2) Bill which was gazetted on 17 January 2020.
The Council noted with grave concern that in general Amendment (No. 2) Bill is anti-rights, anti-transparency and anti-accountability and therefore resolved to reject the proposed amendment in totality. The basis of this position is the realisation that most of these amendments while they are not amending the Bill of Rights, have serious negative implications on the enjoyment of human rights.
Africa Must Protect the Vulnerable: Statement on Africa Day, 2020
Today 25 May 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joins the rest of the continent and the world in commemorating Africa Day.
The day, observed since 1963, when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – which later transformed to the African Union (AU) has always been an occasion to reflect on the continent’s democracy and human rights progress.
To mark this day, ZimRights, an organisation with a national membership of over 250,000, restates its membership’s position on the need for the respect of human rights in Zimbabwe as espoused in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
ZimRights Condemns the Torture of Civilians by the Zimbabwe Republic Police
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) grieves with the young women who have become the latest victims of state terrorism in Zimbabwe.
On Wednesday 13 March 2020, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) abducted three opposition leaders at a roadblock in Harare. The young women are; Ms. Joanna Mamombe – a Member of Parliament for Harare West, Ms. Cecilia Chimbiri – the National Vice Chairperson of the MDC Alliance Youth Assembly, and Ms. Netsai Marova – the Deputy Organising Secretary of the MDC Alliance Youth Assembly.
ZimRights Independence Statement
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joins the nation in commemorating 40 years independence and calls upon the people of Zimbabwe to reflect more deeply on their role in restoring the promise of independence.
The majority of the people of Zimbabwe will not be able to celebrate this day, not so much because of the tragedy of the COVID 19 battle, but rather the painful failure of independent Zimbabwe to deliver to its people on the promise of independence.
It is tragic indeed that a once promising young democracy has now reached a 40-year milestone with nothing to celebrate. After experiencing a false start in the first decade of independence, it has since been a free fall.
States responses to Covid 19 threat should not halt freedoms of assembly and association”
States responses to Covid 19 threat should not halt freedoms of assembly and association” – UN expert on the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. Clément Voule
GENEVA (14 April 2020) - The Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to human rights around the world. “I salute the efforts of governments, international organizations and civil society working together to protect the public from this health hazard. Where human rights are the compass, we will be better placed to overcome this pandemic and build resilience for the future” said Clément Voule, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, in a statement today.
Statement on Bulawayo Killing by ZRP
On 7 April 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) was alerted of the death of one Bulawayo resident following an attack by a one of the police officers enforcing lock-down. ZimRights condemns mourns with the family of the deceased and condemns the brutality of the police in enforcing lockdown.
Members of ZimRights across the country have reported incidences of random police brutality on informal traders and people going up and about essential business. In other cases, police are reported to have rounded up people and bundled them in trucks, thereby exposing them to the COVID 19.
Masvingo Cyclone Idai Statement
A year after the devastating cyclone idai, survivors in Masvingo still find themselves in the same position they were last year and have accused the government of channeling aid along political grounds.
In a community monitoring report released by ZimRights Masvingo province, several survivors have noted that they have not received aid from donors despite national leadership confirming that they have received donations for Cyclone Idai survivors. Recently, the African Development Bank has announced that it will be releasing USD24 million towards Cyclone Idai infrastructure recovery. Already concern has been raised of the need to put in place community monitoring mechanisms to ensure that whatever investiment goes to affected areas is not manipulated along political lines. In Masvingo, the worst affected areas include Bikita West, Bikita East, Gutu North, Masvingo North and Zaka East.
ZimRights Mourns Trade Unionist
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) the working people of Zimbabwe and the world in mourning veteran trade unionist Lovemore Matombo who passed on 28 January 2020. Mr. Matombo’s death is a great loss to his family, civil society, the working people and the nation at large.
During his lifetime, Mr. Matombo represented workers in different platforms including the Post and Telecoms Union of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) as well as Commercial and Allied Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (CAWUZ).