party violates the aims and gains of the liberation struggle. The charging of exorbitant
registration fees for aspiring politicians to participate in the forthcoming harmonized
elections violates the core gains of the liberation struggle. Before independence, one of
the reasons black people could not take leadership positions in Rhodesia was due to the
lack of economic resources as the Rhodesian government’s class system made sure that
black people could not own or control resources. The increase in registration fees
announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is therefore a violation of this right to
political participation by disadvantaged groups particularly women, persons with disability
and the youth. During the past year ZPP recorded cases of physical harassment of
journalists covering political party rallies and by-elections. Media practitioners have
reported an escalation in attempts to muzzle press freedom, creating hostile conditions
for election reporting. Zimbabwe’s national elections have a long history of rekindling and
escalating hostility towards the press corps, with journalists from privately owned media
houses especially being targeted by political activists and members of the security forces.
In recent months, journalists from the private media have endured physical attacks from
the main political parties accused of unfavorable reporting. True independence entails
promoting press freedom so that the citizenry and electorate has access to information
as enshrined in the Constitution.
The country is currently going through one of the most complex socio-political and
economic phase and Zimbabweans, like citizens of any other country, desire a Zimbabwe
free of politically motivated abductions, torture, violence, harassment and intimidation.
Abductions and torture, harassment and intimidation, arbitrary and unlawful arrests have
no place in an aspiring democracy and in this modern society. As a government charged
with the responsibility of governing the people of Zimbabwe, it is critical to respect the
Constitution and ensure that all Zimbabweans enjoy their rights as guaranteed. In
addition, it is important to understand that human rights actors and political activists are
not enemies, but have an important, and justifiably constitutional role including advocating
for accountability. Independence also requires economic emancipation, but this has not
been realized as seen through the strikes and protests that have been staged by civil
servants particularly nurses, doctors and teachers in the past year due to poor
remuneration. This has negatively affected service delivery in the health and education
sectors. The government should ensure that it works towards alleviating the current
economic crisis and guarantee inclusive, genuine dialogue on the issues affecting
Zimbabwe. On socio- economic rights, the right to water, as enshrined in Section 77 of
the Constitution, has not been realized, with most urban and peri-urban settlements
experiencing crippling water shortages. This has been the major cause in the resurgence
of cholera cases which have now broken out in all 10 provinces of the country. Most
communities rural and urban, 43 years after independence, still do not have access to
clean, potable water.

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