The month of April is when Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980 when the Union Jack
was lowered, and the Zimbabwe flag hoisted. ZPP joined the rest of the country in celebrating
43 years of independence celebrated annually on the 18th of April.
This year’s theme focused on a famous phrase
‘Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo’ coined by
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, translating
to ‘a country is built by its own citizens’. As the
country commemorated 43 years of
Independence, there is need to not only focus on
building infrastructure, but also on the
establishment of a culture of respect for human
rights. The right to freedom of peaceful
assembly has continuously been violated and
undermined, with the authorities refusing to give
clearance for some of the main opposition
party’s rallies, arresting and convicting peaceful
protesters and using unnecessary and excessive
f o rce to s to p p ro te s t s . A s Z i m b a b w e
approaches elections in the next few months,
freedom of expression, association and peaceful
assembly have come under increasing attack.
During his Independence Day speech in Mount
Darwin, President Mnangagwa warned citizens
against ‘rogue’ civil society organisations that
have the potential to create division and
disharmony. Repressive pieces of legislation
such as the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act
(MOPA), Cyber and Data Protection Act, Private
and Voluntary Organization (PVO) Amendment
Bill as well the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Amendment Bill have been
promulgated and proposed. Their collective
threaten democracy, good, transparent and
accountable governance and the rule of law.

During the month King Mswati III of Eswatini,
officially opened the Zimbabwe International
Trade Fair (ZITF) which ran between the 25th
and 29th of April. King Mswati’s government
stands accused of deploying the military to
shoot at civilians, jailing hundreds, injuring
thousands and killing many including the most
recent victim of state sponsored terror,
Advocate Thulani Maseko.
Human rights abuses included in this Monthly
Monitoring Report (MMR) not only reveals
offenders but also creates awareness among
citizens on the status of social, political,
economic, civic, and cultural rights. It is also an
advocacy tool with different stakeholders. ZPP
initiated the #RRRV2023 campaign to
encourage people to Resist, Reject, and Report
violence ahead of the 2023 elections. The
campaign seeks to work towards creating a
conducive environment that allows voters to be
informed and exercise their political rights. The
campaign also allows citizens to voice their
concerns and report voting anomalies while also
raising awareness and responsiveness levels to
put pressure on duty-bearers to be accountable
for their actions. It is only when such an
environment exists that citizens are confident
the outcome will be their will. An environment
that is pregnant with intimidations, threats,
harassment and violent conflict is not indicative
of one that is conducive.


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