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Trends of politically motivated human rights violations: January-December 2012
Heal Zimbabwe Trust
February 27, 2013

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In January 2012, Heal Zimbabwe Trust embarked on an exercise to collect, analyse and verify cases of politically motivated violence and other human rights violations that threatened or derail peace building and national healing initiatives across the country. On a weekly basis, through its community structures, the organization compiled all incidences of political violence in a bid to inform stakeholders within and outside the concerned communities on violations that occurred. In the course of the year, Heal Zimbabwe issued a half-year trend analysis report on politically motivated human rights violations. This report is therefore an overall analysis of the political atmosphere with regard to all forms of politically motivated violence. This is an analysis of the weekly alert system that Heal Zimbabwe produced between January and December 2012.

In the year 2012, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces recorded the highest cases of politically motivated violence while Mashonaland West, Harare and Matabeleland provinces recorded the least cases for the year. The most common forms of politically motivated human rights violations in the period under review were intimidation, harassment and assault. The parties involved in most cases were MDC T and ZANU PF members. The 2008 political violence that left close to 300 people dead and thousands displaced was in the period under review used as a tool for continued intimidation. A number of communities reported that those who are responsible for the intimidation taking place continue to tell the targeted victims that a repeat of what happened in 2008 or worse victimization can happen to anyone perceived to be "hard headed" and not prepared to "repent". Cases of politicisation of food aid distribution exercises and other Government support programmes in drought prone areas have been recorded every month especially in Zaka, Buhera and Muzarabani. Political power struggles are then used to influence who gets the handouts and in some cases Non-Governmental Organizations who would have donated these handouts are not aware of the underlying politicking that happens in beneficiary selection and assume all is well. Traditional leaders particularly village headmen and village heads have played significant roles in the manipulation of food aid and other forms of support.

Areas Covered by the report- Mashonaland Central- Chaona, Mt Darwin, Mazowe, Chiweshe, Muzarabani, Manicaland-Mutasa, Makoni, Buhera, Nyanga, Mashonaland East-Mutoko, Hwedza, Murehwa, Mudzi, Matabeleland- Bulawayo, Midlands- Gokwe, Kwekwe, Sanyati, Masvingo- Mwenezi, Zaka, Gutu, Mashonaland West-Hurungwe, Harare- Mbare, Epworth, Chitungwiza.

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