Human rights concerns despite a peaceful election

It’s one week on from the Zimbabwean election and it’s been quite a week for the country… I’ll try to give a quick summary of the past week’s events, and our concerns following reports of human rights violations in some districts.

Firstly, let’s cover the official results of the election – which gave victory to President Mugabe:

President Mugabe has been re-elected with 61% of the vote.

The MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai polled 34%.

President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party gained 160 seats in the parliamentary elections

The MDC-T gained 49 seats – 23% of the seats available.

This gives ZANU-PF 76% of the seats, way above the 2/3 majority needed to make changes to the new, more human-rights friendly, constituion. This new consitution came into force in May after a 94% yes vote in the referendum.

Whilst the day itself was largely calm and peaceful the MDC has cried foul and rejected the result as ‘null and void’, describing the election as a ‘huge farce.’ The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which had the largest number of monitors on the ground during the election, questioned the credibility of the elections saying they were ‘seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise an estimated million voters’

The message from the regional observers, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) painted a different picture. The headline message from them was that the elections were peaceful and free – although they reserved judgement on whether they were ‘fair’ for their final reports.

And whilst everyone waits for those final reports, unless there is a legal challenge then Robert Mugabe will be sworn in as President on Monday 12 August. The MDC has said that it intends to challenge the result. They’ve got until this Saturday to challenge, and if that happens, then the constitutional court has 14 days to rule on whether the result stands, or whether there needs to be a re-run of the election.

Now, Amnesty won’t get into the debate about whether these elections were ‘free and fair’ or ‘credible’ or any other such phrase to describe a nation’s democratic processes. We do not endorse or oppose any political party and will engage with any government to emerge from these elections to address human rights violations in Zimbabwe – past and present.

Which is exactly what we need your help with following these disturbing reports from just after Zimbabwe’s elections.

At least six women with 12 children aged between 16 months and 10 years have been forced to flee their homes in Mukumbura district, Mashonaland Central Province, after being threatened with violence and forcible evictions by local village heads soon after the 31 July election. Some of the women had to leave children behind.

The six women alleged they had been targeted for refusing to follow instructions from ZANU-PF supporters to feign illiteracy, blindness or physical injury, which would have allowed someone else to ‘assist’ them by marking the ballot on their behalf (and thus compromise the secrecy of their vote.) One of the women reported that she had first been threatened in her village two weeks before the election and reported the matter to the police but no action was taken. The six displaced political activists told us that there are more families in the same predicament who remain stranded in the district under threat of violence.

via Zimbabwe: human rights concerns despite a peaceful election | Blogs | Amnesty International UK.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
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    You have started lying you lost the vote finish. Hw can police refuse to take reports this is media corrupt. Thats why you lost you lie too much in the name of human rights and mdc.

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      tanyara muchatiguta 7 years ago

      Kugutisa nemafufu aurikupiwa neZANU ndiko kunoita kuti ungopaumb sebenzi muchaenda kuIngutsheni nazvo zveZANU yenyu inoreva nhema yzvimanikidza kudzitenda kunge idi ichimanikidza vanhu vakafunda kuti vadzigamuchire nhema kunge zvituta lol munosekwa nenyika vady vemafufu

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    nesbert majon 7 years ago

    Saka iwe Joseph chinokunakidza kana vanhu vachitambudziwa saizvozvi chi. Sei uchifarira kutambura kwevamwe. Inga kwataurwa nzvimbo yazvirikuitika wani. Zanu yakawhinha mumatunhu ese sei kunamamwe matunhu zvisina kutaurwa. Usafarira kudiridzira rufaro rwako nemisodzi yevamwe

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    mwoyo wangu unotambura zvachose kuti sei munhu mutema achifarira kutambudza mumwe weganda rake – murungu paakauya akatambudza mutema kwete mumwe wake muchena. Nhasi it is still the same, mutema achiri kungo-suffer violence but this time inflicted by own kith & kin. Can’t we have brains enough to pursuade rather than force, force, force, force. Kusviba ganda zvese nemwoyo here kana kuti ?? Sometimes ndinombofunga kuti nyaya yemubhaibheri yaCain naAbel ndeye chokwadi chete. How does a grown up sabhuku send children into the bush sezvinonzi haana kinereka ?? Rudzi rwedu tirimbwa, murungu ari nani ano nekuti anoziva kuti mumwe wake muchena haafanirwe ku-suffer, nyangwe vakonana sei. Rudzi rwedu runonyadza chokwadi. Ndatenda. Vanoda kutuka mochitanga henyu kutuka.