1.0 Executive Summary
August 2021 was a politically charged month in Zimbabwe.
The social media buzz over the opposition victory in neighbouring
Zambia translated into more campaigns and increased political
activity by the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance parties in
Despite the COVID-19 lockdown in place, Zanu PF continued with
its campaigns and restructuring like it was business as usual.
As a result of being politically active, Zanu PF contributed to over
21 percent of perpetrators of human rights violations in August
2021. This was mostly due to the fact that party officials and
activists coerced citizens to be part of the party’s activities, in the
process infringing their freedom to associate.
The main opposition party, the MDC Alliance and its breakaway, the
MDC-T, both contributed to just under 0.2 percent of the
All this happened as Zimbabweans experienced an increase in the
cost of living and the worsening of the public transport crisis.
The unavailability of safe and reliable public transportation has
become a major human rights issue in Zimbabwe as government
continues to maintain a ban on public transport operators at a time
when the government owned Zimbabwe United Passenger
Company (ZUPCO) has not managed to build its capacity to cater
for the huge demand for its services.
Members of the public therefore end up resorting to using trucks
and other vehicles, popularly known as mushikashika as public
transport, or spend hours queuing for ZUPCO buses, exposing
themselves to COVID-19 and losing productive time.
We take a look at the issues affecting the public transport system.
We also delve into the story behind the forcing of young girls into
marriage scandal at the Johane Marange apostolic sect and focus
on how the sect, which enjoys political protection, uses various
means of suppressing the rights of children and women.
Charged with the responsibility to enforce COVID-19 lockdown
measures, the police contributed to just over 50 percent of the
human rights violations.
This is mainly because the officers used brute methods, or simply
did not follow arrest procedures while enforcing measures such as
the 6.30 pm curfew.
In one of the cases, some commercial sex workers who were found
loitering after the curfew in Marondera alleged that police officers
demanded sexual favours in return for freedom.
The police were also responsible for the ten cases of unlawful
detention. We also look at the human rights issue around
government’s failure to avail national registration documents
considering that for one to write public exams, vote in national
elections, or access aid and some financial and government
services, they need to either have national identity card or birth
During the month of August, ZPP hosted a webinar on enforced
disappearances and part of the panelist was Aua Balde, who is a
member of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and
Involuntary Disappearances

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