Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change’s efforts to get first-time voters to register are being undermined by a concerted effort from the authorities, who are cracking down on individuals and groups seen mobilising youths to register.
On 5 May 2013, police arrested three volunteers from the Election Resource Centre (ERC) for carrying out activities under the group's popular 1st Time Voter Generation campaign, which encourages young people to register as voters.
ERC director, Tawanda Chimhini, handed himself in to the police in a bid to secure the release of the three volunteers and was immediately charged under section 40 of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act, which forbids individuals from conducting voter education without seeking permission from the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission.
To read the article titled, “Authorities blocking youth voter registration,” click here.Source:All Africa
Zimbabwe's lower house of parliament has approved a draft constitution endorsed in a March 2013 referendum, paving the way for new elections.
The draft constitution takes away the president's immunity after leaving office, bolsters the power of the courts and sets up a peace and reconciliation commission tasked with post-conflict justice and healing.
It also limits a president's tenure to two five-year terms, curtails presidential powers and abolishes the post of prime minister.
To read the article titled, “Zim MPs approve draft constitution,” click here.Source:Times Live
Edinah Masanga, who worked as a journalist for a decade, has launched the Women Empowerment Foundation Scribes Africa (WEFSA) in Zimbabwe in a bid to amplify women's voices.
Masanga notes that women are still seen as a minority in journalism worldwide and that they all go through the same experiences, including unethical practices such as sexual harassment, discrimination, while exclusion continues to be a challenge for women in this profession.
She states that WEFSA is built on real life and personal experiences by female journalists in newsrooms to advocate for issues of women and media from outside the confines of the newsrooms.
To read the article titled, “Female journalists marginalised,” click here.Source:All Africa
The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) new resident coordinator in South Africa has come under fire for his role in Zimbabwe's disastrous cholera outbreak in 2008.
It is alleged that due to the warm relations between Agostinho Zacarias, the former UNDP chief in Harare and ZANU-PF in 2008, the UN in 2008 ignored internal cholera warnings months before an outbreak that claimed more than 4 000 lives.
This has come to light after a recent tribunal hearing looking into the unfair dismissal in 2009 of Georges Tadonki, who headed the UN humanitarian office in Harare at the time. He was dismissed by Zacarias.
To read the article titled, “How ZANU-PF ties stopped UN boss from acting on cholera,” click here.Source:Mail & Guardian
An international human rights delegation that recently toured Zimbabwe to assess the human rights situation has expressed concern over the non-implementation of agreed electoral reforms.
The group, which is also concerned about the harassment of civic groups and human rights defenders, says that there is increased intimidation, threats and violence against civil society and violations of the rights to freedom of expression and access to information in that country.
The group, which was sponsored by the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights, further maintains that the current environment was not conducive for the holding of free and fair elections.
To read the article titled, “Zim not conducive for free, fair polls,” click here.Source:News Day
Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has snubbed civil society leaders that have sought an audience with him over what has been viewed as the deteriorating political environment in the wake of a state onslaught against NGOs and human rights defenders.
NGOs under the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition banner, recently wrote to the four principals in the coalition government expressing their concerns over the resurgence of political violence and harassment of human rights defenders.
They requested to meet with the principals fearing a repeat of a violent crackdown reminiscent of the run-up to the 2008 polls that saw some civil society leaders being arrested.
To read the article titled, “Mugabe Snubs CSOs,” click here.Source:All Africa
Analysts say the Zimbabwean authorities should investigate claims by Friends of Zimbabwe (FoZ) that they pumped over US$2.6 billion into the country since the formation of the inclusive government.
They argue that, "That is a lot of money and we are surprised that things in some departments that are said to have benefited through the funding are still in a deplorable state. Where did that money go?"
The states that some of the areas FoZ claims, have not seen much improvement since the formation of the inclusive government.
To read the article titled, “Probe US$2.6 billion donation, say analysts,” click here.Source:All Africa
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) has ruled that the Zimbabwe government is responsible for the torture of human rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba, in a landmark ruling that sets a new precedent against impunity in Africa.
The ACHPR has now given Zimbabwe 90 days to act on the decision, including launching an investigation into the torture that Shumba was subjected to in 2003.
Shumba was arrested by the police and CIO officials in Zimbabwe in 2003, while attending to a client. During his detention he was kicked, beaten and severely tortured and ill-treated for several hours. He was threatened with death, electrocuted, burned with chemicals and suffered other serious abuses.
To read the article titled, “Zim govt found responsible for torture in landmark ruling,” click here.Source:All Africa
The Zimbabwean police have arrested the country's most prominent rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, and four senior officials from the Movement for Democratic Change, a day after the nation voted in a referendum on a new constitution that calls for more protection against human rights violations.
According to a police official, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai's chief legal adviser, Thabani Mpofu, is accused of impersonating police by compiling dossiers on unspecified crimes.
On one hand Mtetwa was arrested after she demanded that police produce a search warrant at the suburban house used by Mpofu. On the other hand, officers accuse her of trying to take photographs of a security detail on her mobile phone and she was forced into a police vehicle.
To read the article titled, “Zim police charge lawyer with 'obstructing justice',” click here.Source:Mail & Guardian
The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which brokered a coalition pact in Zimbabwe, has handed the constitutional referendum a clean bill of health despite isolated incidents of violence ahead of the vote.
The regional bloc has described the vote - which was set to endorse the constitution that will pave the way for elections - as ‘peaceful and credible’.
Bernard Membe, Tanzania's foreign minister who headed the SADC observer mission, points out that, "This is a major step in the implementation" of reforms agreed under a power-sharing government between President Robert Mugabe and his long-time rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe referendum credible - SADC,” click here.Source:News24