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ZimRights News
ISSUE 2 of 2021 I 28 FEBRUARY 2021
Welcome to ZimRights News
Welcome to the February 2021 edition of ZimRights Audible. This is a Monthly Human Rights Podcast brought to you by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association. We capture for you all the key human rights developments in Zimbabwe. To receive the audio version of this newsletter send us a Whats App message on +263 772 954 075 or click here to join our ZimRights Audible Whats App Community. Use the link below to play the current newsletter.

Denial of Bail at the Magistrates courts: In the month of February, we continued to witness the disturbing trend of the different levels of the judiciary playing good-cop bad-cop with peoples’ rights. The magistrate's courts consistently deny activists bail on flimsy reasons. After the victims languish, the High Court grants bail and attacks the magistrate's court for misdirecting themselves. Allan Moyo, 23, a University of Zimbabwe student arrested on the 7th of December 2020 was only granted bail at the high court on 19 February after spending over two months incarcerated. MDC-Alliance activists Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri were only granted bail at the high court on their latest charges of insulting police in central Harare. Makomborero Haruzivishe was denied bail on 20 February 2020 at the magistrates’ courts. Bail is a right and the continuous refusal to grant bail by lower courts to citizens perceived to be opposing the government, puts the courts in disrepute. 

Selective Enforcement of Covid-19 Lockdown Regulations: On 1 February 2021, a Chinhoyi teenager was fined 15 000ZWL for violation of Covid-19 regulations. Thousands of citizens have also been arrested since the initial lockdown in March 2020. However, Zanu PF Politburo member and Bindura North legislator Kenneth Musanhi held a rally on January 27 and there was no punishment.

Killings: In Chakari Kadoma, an artisanal miner Timothy Mpofu was killed on the 12 of February by a RioZim Limited mine guard for trespassing. 

Police Brutality: On 17 February Police allegedly fired several gunshots at an unarmed civilian Makomborero Haruzivishe before arresting him on kidnapping charges.

Mine disasters: Poverty and lack of employment have pushed many citizens into illegal mining in the hope of making quick cash to support their families. As poverty bites, Zimbabwe is witnessing a surge in deaths of illegal miners. On February 6, Kwekwe CPU confirmed the death of 2 miners at the Globe and Phoenix gold mine. On February 16, 3 artisanal miners were confirmed dead at the Pingo mine while dozens were reportedly trapped. ZimRights calls on the government to improve the economy and promote industrialization to reduce unemployment levels.

An Analysis of the National Development Strategy 1
There is a link between development and human rights. This is why ZimRights developed an interest in the government of Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) published towards the end of 2020. ZimRights analysed the contents of the development plan using a community-oriented human rights Approach. ZimRights believes that for any development plan to prosper, it should be an inclusive and consultative process. ZimRights recommends a human rights-centred approach to development. See the analysis here and make a plan to speak to your local leader about this plan. Find the contacts for your Member of Parliament here.
Something New! The ZimRights Exhibition opens at ZimRights House.

Human rights violations are increasing in Zimbabwe. These are real lives of real people whose lives are being dehumanised. At ZimRights House, we have decided to bring their stories to life through a living human rights exhibition featuring experiences of human rights activists in their daily struggles for human rights. Curated by award-winning photojournalist Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, our Human Rights Exhibition Centre situated at ZimRights gardens tells the story of pain and hope, suffering and resilience. If you care about human rights and art, we look forward to hosting you at ZimRights House for a tour of our exhibition. 

The Right to Peace
A citizens’ guide to human rights and peace-building in Zimbabwe
ZimRights published and launched The Right to Peace: A citizens’ guide to human rights and peace-building in Zimbabwe on 25 February 2020 at a virtual summit attended by community peace advocates from 11 ZimRights Chapters and peacebuilding experts from Sierra Leone, Cape town, Switzerland and local from the NPRC and UNDP. The Right to Peace Manual is a tool that our members and all peace advocates can use to build peace in their communities without waiting for external actors. Speaking at the launch, ZimRights National Chairperson Mr. Takesure Musiiwa said ZimRights believes that peace is a fundamental human right for everyone and without it, no other right make sense.

If you want to receive the manual on Whats App, send us a Whats App message on +263 772 954 075.

Improving Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products
Community Advocacy: Improving Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products
The ZimRights Victoria Falls Chinotimba community led by Trymore Ndlolo is supporting young girls in remote areas with reusable sanitary wear and conducting health education in remote villages as a tool to empower young girls and keep them in school. Read more here.

ZimRights has joined hands with Magamba Network, Kubatana, ZIMCODD and Citizen Manifesto on the #WhereAreOurVaccinesZW campaign. ZimRights believes that Access to a safe and effective vaccine in Zimbabwe is a right and will continue pushing to ensure the right is realised by all Zimbabweans. The campaign has three key stresses which are the demand for research to ensure the use of the most effective and safe vaccine, Publishing the plan to ensure the government has a clear and transparent distribution plan, and Open contracts to enhance transparency on all contracts, financing, and distribution of the vaccines, Get more information about the campaign on our social media pages.

Join the campaign by signing the petition asking Minister of Health Constantino Chiwenga to give us details on the vaccination programme
COVID-19 has turned our lives up-side-down. For a year now citizens have been locked in their homes disrupting livelihoods. Vaccines for COVID-19 may bring back normalcy and allow citizens to get back to fending for their families. A ZimRights member in Mberengwa speaks on the need for government to ensure that vaccines are available and accessible to all persons without discrimination.

On our COVID-19 response, we have taken the message of the right to a safe and effective vaccine to a new level. Together with the International Commission of Jurist, (ICJ) we have written to the Chairperson of the African’s Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, appealing for the Commission to pressure the government of Zimbabwe to meet its obligations to protect the rights of life and health through publishing a clear Covid-19 vaccine procurement, distribution and roll-out plan including any resources it has set aside for containing the pandemic. Read the appeal here.
Unpacking the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill 
By Kenias Shonhai
In our featured blog, ZimRights Projects Lawyer Kenias Shonhai tracks on whether the gazetted Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill fulfill the objective of Section 210 of the constitution, which is the provision of an effective and independent mechanism for receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about the misconduct of the security services and remedying any harm caused.Read the full article here.
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