Commissions Watch 6 August 2018 [ZHRC Preliminary Election Monitoring Report 23 - 31 July 2018]

[6th August 2018]
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) Preliminary Election
Monitoring Report: 23 – 31 July 2018

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), is mandated to protect, promote and enforce
human rights in Zimbabwe. Section 243(1) (c) confers the responsibility on the Commission to
monitor, assess and ensure observance of human rights and freedoms. This function is inclusive
of the right to free and fair elections as provided for in the Constitution and the Electoral Act,
(Chap 2:13). In light of this mandate, the ZHRC has been monitoring all electoral processes to
contribute to the promotion of an environment conducive to conducting of free, fair,
transparent and credible elections. The Commission deployed a total of 23 teams spread across
the 10 Provinces of Zimbabwe. The monitors were able to collect information which forms part
of this preliminary report. Apart from monitoring the political situation, the ZHRC teams earned
out their functions of complaints handling and investigation, as well as human rights education
and promotion as provided for in section 243 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
This report is based on the information received from the monitors deployed across the
country and from complaints received.
Overall the environment was peaceful compared to previous electoral periods in the country.
However, the ZHRC monitors found that in some provinces the pre-election environment was
marred by a number of electoral malpractices which included the following;
A number of cases of threats and intimidation were received from 10 Provinces in
contravention of section 133B(c) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13]. By 29 July 2018, a total of
31 cases had been received by the ZHRC of voters being compelled to vote for a particular party
by those in places of authority such as Chiefs and Headman. The situation was especially
worrisome in Mashonaland East Province which received reports of intimidation and threats in
most of the 16 constituencies in violation of the right to freedom of expression as stated in
section 61 of the Constitution, and to freedom of assembly, association and choice as provided
for in section 58 of the Constitution. It was further noted that the greatest number of threats
and intimidation arose from the social media which threats were of great concern because of
their insidious nature.

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