The political environment in
Zimbabwe which is polarised has
disproportionately impacted the
participation of persons with
disabilities’ (PWDs) in political
processes. It is unfortunate to note
that politics in Zimbabwe is
characterised by intolerance and
hate language seen in the surge in
gross human rights violations
against persons with disabilities.
This is sadly back sliding for a
country aspiring to be a democracy
and guided by constitutionalism.
In August 2022, ZPP monitored and
documented 257 human rights violations,
with a total of 3,321 victims made up of
2,334 males and 987 females, including
31 (14M/17F) PWDs. The majority of
human rights cases were perpetrated by
the ruling Zanu PF party,responsible for
51% of the violations, followed by the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) at 28%,
Zimbabwe National Army at 4.1%, just
above CCC at 3.8%, and municipal police
at 3.6%. The general citizens among them
persons with disabilities populated the
highest percentage of victims at 89%
while the Citizens’ Coalition for Change
(CCC) supporters followed at 11%.

The violence targeting persons with
disabilities in August reached an alarming
level raising red flags as the nation heads
towards the general elections in 2023. In the
past, ZPP has recorded cases where persons
with disabilities have been denied equal
opportunities to participate in general and
political party primary elections. In some
instances, violence has been a major
stumbling block during elections and political
party primary elections resulting in persons
with disabilities withdrawing. This continues
to be a thorn in Zimbabwe’s drive towards
ensuring that elections are inclusive of all
citizens. As long as PWDs including young
persons wait to be appointed to the
legislature there will always be
disproportionate attention given to issues
affecting them. There is need for PWDs to be
accorded opportunities in politics and in
political parties so that they can advocate
for their constituency to enjoy in particular
economic opportunities. Access to
economic opportunities for young people
and women will break the dependency
syndrome and remove societal induced

The Zimbabwe Constitution provides for the rights of persons with disabilities in
Section 83 where the government has an obligation to ensure that PWDs realise their
full mental and physical potential if they want to participate in politics, the economy
and socially to access good medical care, education and access to livelihoods.


Select target paragraph3