Independence Day Statement
Zimbabwe Peace Project adds its voice to the growing call for the full exercise and
enjoyment of fundamental human rights in Zimbabwe as the country celebrates 43 years
of independence. Many citizens continue to experience impediments that prevent them
from enjoying the respect and fulfillment of their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.
ZPP recorded 693 human rights violations between January and March 2023 alone. 59%
of these cases being acts of harassment and intimidation against general citizens, human
rights defenders, activists, journalists and members of the opposition party the Citizen
Coalition for Change. Zimbabwe has a history of violence, including intimidation,
harassment and physical violence against opposition members, human rights activists,
and others during election periods. It has become an alarming trend in which the ruling
party targets opposition party supporters through state agents; like the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) and Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) who by their nature have a
mandate to defend citizens regardless of political affiliation. Reports of state-sponsored
violence and limits on freedoms have been recorded, raising questions about the actual
independence of Zimbabwean citizens. The call is on the state to let Zimbabwean citizens
freely exercise their human rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Women, who also participated in the liberation movement alongside their male
counterparts and helped bring about Zimbabwe's independence, today still face
significant challenges when it comes to their political rights being upheld. Women
continue to be discouraged from being engaged citizens who demand the respect of their
inalienable rights due to the intimidation and harassment they experience in political
spaces. Given the low participation of women in the 2018 election, the gender equity and
equality that women fought for in the first and second Chimurenga has taken a step
backward. Section 17 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe promotes the full participation of
women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society on the basis of equality with men. Thus,
there is a need for government institutions and commissions to put more effort in
improving women’s participation for the realization of their rights. Since independence in
1980, Zimbabwe has experienced violence both between different political parties
(interparty) and within the same party (intraparty). The liberation struggle was fought so
that Zimbabweans could be led by a government of the people and for the people. The
use of violence to subdue, harass and intimidate people into voting for a particular political

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