The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC/Commission) is amongst the five
Independent Commissions established in terms of section 232 of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe. The Independent Commissions are accorded the objectives of supporting and
entrenching human rights and democracy, protecting the sovereignty of the people as
well as securing the observance of democratic values and principles by the State and all
institutions and agencies of Government. Section 242 of the Constitution establishes the
ZHRC, with its functions spelt out in section 243. The functions of the ZHRC include
monitoring, assessing and ensuring observance of human rights and freedoms. The rights
and freedoms include political rights as guaranteed in section 67 of the Constitution,
where citizens have a right to free, fair and regular elections, including the right to make
political choices freely, among others.
In accordance with section 40K of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) as amended up to 28
May 2018, the ZHRC was accredited to observe the harmonized elections. This gave the
Commission an opportunity to execute its constitutional mandate of monitoring the human
rights situation in the country before, during and after the elections. Through a sample
based methodology, ZHRC observed the electoral environment and human rights
situation throughout the country. ZHRC monitored the pre-election environment and
issued a Statement on the 29th of July 2018. The Commission issued its preliminary
election monitoring report on the 2nd of August 2018 covering the period up to 31 July
2018. This statement is therefore a summary of findings on the election related human
rights situation by the ZHRC in the period from 1 August to 6 August 2018.
1. Election Day
As noted in the ZHRC preliminary statement, there was general calmness throughout the
country on Election Day, with voters peacefully turning out in their numbers to cast their
2. Post- Election Environment
The most disturbing post-election incident was the violence that erupted in Harare on the
1st of August 2018, which resulted in property such as cars being destroyed during MDCAlliance demonstrations. These disturbances resulted in the loss of life of six civilians and
the injury of many, following the intervention of the army. The ZHRC issued a statement
on the 2nd of August 2018 condemning the violence and the loss of life due to the
intervention by the army and urging all players to maintain peace.

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