1 September 2009
15 September 2009 marks the first year since the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). It is against this background that the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum), a coalition of 19 human rights organizations in Zimbabwe, seeks to monitor compliance by the inclusive Government with the provisions of the GPA in particular Article 18, which commits the parties to working towards the elimination of political violence in Zimbabwe.
The Forum has been monitoring politically motivated violence since January 2001 and has been reporting these cases on a monthly basis in its Monthly Political Violence Reports (MPVR). The Forum has noted that since the signing of the GPA, cases of overt political violence have declined. The Forum welcomes this development and hopes that the vicious cycle of political violence can be brought to an end permanently. According to the Forum’s June 2009 MPVR, 70 cases of assault and 6 cases of torture were recorded in the first six months of this year as compared to 1637 assaults and 689 torture cases recorded for the same period last year. The Forum has recorded 1096 human rights violations from January to June 2009 as compared to 8 553 human rights violations recorded for the same period last year.
While there is a marked reduction in the case of violence this year, the Forum remains concerned by the sustained, albeit lower levels of political violence, which continue to be witnessed in many parts of the country. The fact that the Forum has recorded over a 1000 cases of political violence over the period under review is an indication that much
more still needs to be done by the parties to the GPA to ensure compliance.
1. The Forum urges the Government of Zimbabwe to put in place policies and institutions that will ensure the protection of all citizens and the prevention of violence by all political formations and groups.
2. The Forum recommends the setting up of independent Transitional Justice mechanisms that will ensure justice for the victims of organized violence and torture and foster national healing and reconciliation.
3. The Forum exhorts the Government to put in place a dedicated policy towards demilitarization of youths, disbanding of torture bases and security sector reforms to free security officers from partisan influence.