Although the year started with COVID-19 lockdown regulations, these
eased as the year progressed. While the lockdown regulations eased,
the protracted political and socio-economic environment worsened
making the lives of the majority of citizens unbearable. their situation
compounded by the lockdown restrictions. As an institution, we noted
a closing of operating space not just in Zimbabwe but it seemed the
issue affected many countries in Africa and around the globe. During
the year under review, citizens were not only subjected to absolute
poverty but were also victims of harassment, assault, abductions and
unlawful arrest. While threats about what the government would do to
muzzle civil society and limit operating environment were very loud, it
was towards the end of the year that a bold step was taken.
On November 5, 2021 the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO)
Amendment Bill was gazetted. It seemed government wanted to fast
track the Bill, by announcing public hearings to take place in December
but the plans had to be shelved as the ravaging effects of the global
pandemic called for the adjournment of parliamentary business.
Although the PVO Amendment Bill affected CSOs there was no
consultation with CSOs prior to gazetting of the Bill. The new law
limits the right to freedom of expression and information. CSOs are
open to regulation and have also suggested self-regulation however the
Amendment seems to be more bent on penalising CSOs.
Before gazetting of the PVO Amendment Bill the country watched in
dismay as what had been viewed as a progressive Constitution took a
significant knock with Constitutional Amendment number 2 fast on
the heels of Constitutional Amendment number 1. With 27
amendments Constitutional Amendment number 2 sought to
consolidate power of the President and the otherwise largely
progressive Constitution suffered retrogression. The amendment
‘marked departure from the democratic spirit and tenor embodied in
the Constitution of Zimbabwe’ Some provisions were removed before
they had even been tried for example the provision of running mates in
presidential elections. It was a sad day in the history of Zimbabwe
when Constitutional Amendment number 2 was gazetted on May 7.
It is my hope that citizens rendered vulnerable by the fast-shrinking
operating space gather the courage and reclaim agency to call out duty
bearers when their rights are violated. Citizens must realise that they
have the power to demand accountability but at the same time take
cognisance of the responsibilities that they have as citizens.
Despite all the pitfalls that characterised the year under review
Zimbabwe Peace Project continued to monitor and document human
rights violations affecting citizens without fear or favour. We are
indebted to our partners who continue to have confidence in the work
that we do.
Allow me to appreciate the commitment and dedication exhibited by
fellow Board members who in these difficult times made time to give
policy direction to ZPP and also provided the much -needed oversight
role. The members were fully engaged in ensuring that ZPP policies
match the demands in today’s world and provided technical expertise.
ZPP did a sterling job in monitoring these violations and putting them
into the public domain and referring the victims in need for medical,
legal and psycho-social support. ZPP continued to advocate for the
advancement of the rights of women, persons with disability and other
I thank you.
Mr Zachariah Godi
ZPP Board Chairperson