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ZimRights News
ISSUE 11 I 26 JULY 2020
Welcome to ZimRights News
We bring you our weekly Human Rights News Round Up. Every week, we capture key human rights developments covering the most important human rights issues in Zimbabwe. To receive updates on WhatsApp, subscribe here

In General
Last week’s arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume who is also the convener of the 31st July movement has shown that the government has no intention of respecting the freedoms that are enshrined in the bill of rights. The two are accused of violating sections 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a)of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23. See ZimRights statement on the arrests of the two here.

During the week police obtained a search warrant for Econet wireless seeking information on the mobile phone subscribers' transactions. The warrant was later suspended by the High court following intervention by ZimRights and MISA. 

President Mnangagwa tightened the lockdown regulations and introduced a curfew from 6pm to 6am. Many ZimRights members from high density suburbs said they had to walk to as far as Chitungwiza as there was no public transport.

On 24 July 2020, the UN OHCHR Spokesperson Liz Throssell, speaking to journalists in Geneva, expressed concern over allegations suggesting that Zimbabwean authorities may be using the COVID-19 crisis as a pretext to stifle freedom of expression and peaceful assembly on the streets. See full statement below.
Last week saw an increase of human rights violations. The United Nations rebuked Zimbabwe for using COVID 19 to clamp down on human rights. Former ZimRights Chairperson and ZimRights member Mr. Arnold Tsunga warned Zimbabwe against ignoring the United Nations. In the light of these developments, and the increasing attacks on rights, we feature the special report ‘A Human Rights Approach to Fighting COVID 19.’ In this report, we cover the key UN Human Rights Principles in the light of Zimbabwe's hostile approach to containing COVID 19 and the impact on human rights.

Following the extrajudicial killing of Bhekani Moyo (20) from Silobela by the Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZimRights has moved a step further on its community advocacy by filing a report on the violation of the right to life to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). ZimRights last week visited the office of the Officer Commanding Kwekwe District to follow up on the murder. The police said investigations were ongoing. You can read the report from our midlands chairperson below.
#ZimRights MISA Successfully Defend the Rights to Privacy in the Econet Case
ZimRights and MISA Zimbabwe successfully filed an urgent court application against Econet search warrant seeking an interim order for Econet to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of information in its custody. ZimRights has a grassroots membership of over 250 000 people, most of them who use Ecocash to pay their subscriptions. ZimRights argued that its members have the right to privacy and sharing this information would endanger them. In 2008, ZimRights members were attacked at the height of political violence. Read the statement below.
Last week, we continued with our COVID 19 Response. We visited Mutare Prisons were our leadership handed over 200 face masks and 200 X 150ml sanitisers for prison inmates. Assistant Commissioner Marange said Manicaland has almost 2000 inmates and will benefit from the ZimRights contribution. ZimRights Vice Chairperson Mr. Themba Chiveya said ZimRights appreciates the plight of inmates who find themselves many times without support from home because of the economy.
IN THE PICTURE: ZimRights delegation meeting with ZPSC officials in Mutare on Friday 23 July 2020.
The Importance of the Right to Information in Winning The Fight Against COVID-19

If Zimbabwe is to win the battle against Coronavirus, it is important that the right to information is respected. It is also important to ensure that during such a crisis government priorities are scrutinised to ensure that enough resources are availed to the health sector. Noting the arrests of Chin’ono and Ngarivhume who are trying to fight corruption, on ZimRights Audible we speak the Director of Misa, Mr. Tabani Moyo, who shares insights on the implications of attacks on the media and how a free media can complement government efforts to combat corruption and ensure that resources are channeled into alleviating the socio-economic problems worsened by the pandemic. As the local transmissions rise, we also hear from former Minister of Health, Henry Madzorera on measures that the communities can take to reduce chances of getting infected. 
The importance of journalism in highlighting community issues on human rights

At ZimRights we believe that corruption is a human rights issue. We believe that journalism is an important tool in highlighting community issues. As we show solidarity with our colleagues in the media fraternity who are under attack, we feature on our blog an article by Ruvimbo Muchenje on the importance of journalism in highlighting community issues. Read the full article below.
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Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
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