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ZimRights News
ISSUE 6 I 28 June 2021
Welcome to ZimRights News
Welcome to ZimRights News, a Monthly Human Rights Update 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, subscribe here Or send us a WhatsApp message on +263 772954075

Surplus in the midst of Poverty: Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube on 4 June 2020 declared a $9.8 billion budget surplus during the first quarter of 2021. Government has not provided adequate safety nets for those affected by Covid -19 and Zimbabwe is struggling to provide vaccines even for the second dose.

Prisoners of Conscience: The Supreme Court on 4 June 2021 ordered the immediate release from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison of two political prisoners, Last Tamai Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere, who had been detained since 2016 after they were convicted and sentenced to serve 20 years for allegedly murdering a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer. The court found them not guilty.

Access to documentation: While access to documentation is a right, the Registrar General’s Office is failing to provide national registration documents. Zimbabweans wait for months for birth certificates, national identity documents and passports.

Demolitions in Harare: On June 20, 2021, Harare City Council demolished structures in Mbare destroying sources of livelihoods for citizens who are already reeling from poverty and Covid-19 effects. Similar demolitions were carried out in Chitungwiza and Melfort Park.

Government turns down vaccine donations: In a letter dated 02 June, 2021, the government wrote to Afreximbank turning down the provision of Johnson and Johnson vaccines while the country has a serious shortage of vaccines resulting in failure to provide even the second dose. Read our statement on the shortage of vaccines.

Attacks on Human Rights Defenders: Chitrest Director Alice Kuvheya was arrested on Monday 14 June 2021 and charged with incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence as defined in section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Kuvheya had challenged demolitions in Chitungwiza

Farm Grab: Osisa Director, Siphosami Malunga received a call from the Bulawayo Land Office on 14 June 2021 and was informed that the government was repossessing his family private farm
Featured Statement
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
As we mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, ZimRights stands in solidarity with all the victims of torture in Zimbabwe in condemning all acts of torture and call on the government of Zimbabwe:
  • To investigate and prosecute all cases of abductions and torture
  •  To provide redress and compensate all victims of torture.
  • To immediately end the victimization of torture survivors.
  • To strengthen mechanisms and institutions that fight against torture and human rights violations.
  •  To ratify and domesticate the Convention Against Torture.
Open Up: Handbook on Women, Human Rights and Leadership
ZimRights believes that the role of women human rights defenders is critical in advancing the human rights struggle. This is why on 12 June 2020, the ZimRights National Council passed a resolution to create a Women's Council and initiate steps to advance the leadership of women in the human rights agenda. Following months of training and conversations, on 2 June 2021, 11 Women Human Rights Defenders from ZimRights' 11 provinces were commissioned as Champions for promoting the role of women in human rights leadership. The essential tool for that task was officially launched on that day.

The handbook is an essential resource for all women human rights defenders who seek to go beyond mere participation but to lead the human rights discourse. Those who seek not only to be counted but rather to increase and influence the count. The role of women and girls in leading the human rights agenda needs to be strengthened to ensure not only the visibility of women but building the capacity of women in Zimbabwe to be able to articulate human rights issues from an informed perspective and as champions for human rights.

If you want to receive the handbook on Whats App, send us a Whats App message on +263 772 954 075
Community Human Rights Champions:Fighting Persecution
In Epworth our member John Mabwe who is a coordinator and spokesperson of Kushinga Epworth Residents Trust is fighting persecution for being a human rights champion. Mabwe had his house demolished on 10 June 2021 by Epworth Town Council. Mabwe who thinks he is being targeted for challenging unclear stand allocations by the council will be challenging the demolition and his arbitrary arrests. Mabwe's house was the only one partially demolished by council. The cottage is sitting at approximately 22 metres from the road. Nearby Mr Mabwe’s house there are other structures which are less than 10 metres from the road but were not demolished indicating that Mabwe is being targeted for persecution.


On 16 June 2021, 10 days before the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Constitutional Law Centre (CLC) released a special report which analyses the government's proposed Independent Complaints Commission Bill (ICC Bill) which seeks to operationalise section 210 of the Constitution. CLC proceeded to convene a policy discussion of the proposed law. If you missed the event, you can watch the proceeding here. You can access the report below.
Youth Leading the Human Rights Agenda
On 1 December 2020, we launched our ZimRights Youth Zone with a number of activities that included a Constitution Summit for High Schools. Since then our Youth Zone has continued to create space for young people to engage the human rights agenda. These include an internship programme in which we are partnering with five universities in Zimbabwe and abroad including the University of Virginia in the USA. In this programme, we host students who are passionate about human rights. Another aspect of this programme is our youth dialogues with youth members of ZimRights who are doing a lot of good work in their communities. This month, on 8 June 2021, VOA's Mike Hove hosted some members of the ZimRights YouthZone to speak about their work. See the full report below.
Access to Documentation
Having realized the difficulties and lengthy times that Zimbabweans are going through to get registration documents, which are a right, ZimRights has embarked on a campaign to ensure that government is alive to the urgent need of formulating a National policy that deals with Access to National Documentation. Access to documentation is a key human right upon which the enjoyment of other human rights is based. Without identity documentation, people are deprived of their human rights.
ZimRights Supports Abbot Francis Pfanner Children's Home
As the Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to increase, ZimRights joined the Mashonaland West communities that are battling a surge in COVID-19 cases. On 25 June 2021, we partnered Abbot Francis Pfanner Children’s home in Marondera and provided Covid-19 resources. The home has 11 Children with the youngest being six years. ZimRights also partnered Nyameni Clinic in Marondera in a bid to fight Covid-19. ZimRights believes that even with the rising cases, together we will fight Covid-19 .We urge everyone to mask up, wash hands regularly with soap and sanitize to prevent Covid-19 infections.
Torture Victim Sheila Chirisimumhu Narrates Her Torture Ordeal

On 26 June every year, the world commemorates International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In our featured blog this month, ZimRights Member, Sheila Chisirimunhu blogs on how she was tortured for simply asking for a living wage. She speaks about her experience at Mutimurefu Prison and months later after prison, she yearns for healing.
ZimRights Announces New Board Appointments
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) is excited to announce the appointment of two technical experts to its Management Committee with effect from 3 June 2021. The two experts are Ms. Nosimilio Chanaiwa and Mr. Jade Takudzwa Tsokodai. The appointment of the two experts is part of the ZimRights Transition Strategy that was adopted by the ZimRights National Council on 12 June 2020, allowing the Management Committee to incorporate relevant expertise necessary to enable it to effectively play its role.

Ms. Chanaiwa and Mr. Tsokodai will play the roles of legal advisor and financial advisor respectively in support of the work of ZimRights.

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Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
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