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Politically motivated discrimination rife in Muzarabani constituency
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
April 16, 2010

At the height of the worst indescribable discrimination driven by political malice, greed, corruption and outright inhuman cruelty, more than 25 community members from Muzarabani have been promptly barred from attending various church groups because they are supporters of the MDC. The order to bar the suspended villagers comes after threats of harm which were relayed to pastors and church leaders of church groups which include Faith Apostolic Church, Hambakuku, Mugodhi and Zion.

The controversial decision was passed at a meeting that was convened by the self confessed ardent supporter of ZANU Pf Chief Kasekete on the 2nd of March this year at Hoya business centre.

ROHR Zimbabwe undertook a sight visit to access the situation in Charunda village and we can reliably confirm from an informed position, that a Pentacostal Holiness Church in Charunda village was razed down to ashes, burnt logs and lumps of bricks in an act of arson by a staunch ZANU Pf supporter, Paradzai Chabayanzara who is believed to have set the church on fire because it was being attended by members of the MDC to the dislike of ZANU PF sections in the same village.

One of the suspended villagers barred from attending church, MDC youth organizing secretary for Muzarabani South Misheck Sango said that it was also resolved that bibles should not be read in any of the churches. He bemoaned the decision to suspend them from attending church as most of their community members were church goers and peace loving.

Some of the acts of discrimination which were reported to ROHR Zimbabwe as being instigated by Chief Kasekete against supporters of the MDC include barring participation in social activities like soccer tournaments and influencing of donors to choose beneficiaries on partisan lines. Speaking to ROHR Zimbabwe, Sango said they were forced to forego a lifetime opportunity to be beneficiaries from a program of construction of Blair toilets that was carried out by World Vision in 2009.

The losing councilor for MDC Charunda village said there are more than twenty families who are not registered in any herdsmen's records books because they are being discriminated against as punishment for being MDC supporters.

ROHR Zimbabwe views these acts of discrimination as deliberate malicious moves targeted at disempowering innocent people from their social rights in the community at the whim of overzealous partisan sections of the society acting on narrow partisan authority. We hold that discrimination constitutes serious violation of fundamental human rights and that human rights are not privileges or gifts bestowed on people at the pleasure of any local leaders, politicians or whoever is commanding a higher authority in public affairs.

We therefore challenge chief Kasekete in his personal capacity to desist from corrupt activities that violate the rights of his villagers through discrimination and execute his servient duties as an independent officer to uphold the equality for all regardless of political affiliation. We want to remind chief Kasekete that non discrimination is a cross cutting principle under international human rights law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) under chapter 1 clearly states that, '' all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

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