Commissions Watch 4/2017

Human Rights Commission Report:
on 2014 Tsholotsho Flooding

22 June

COMMISSIONS WATCH 4/2017
ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
[22nd June 2017]
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission: A Report on
Communities Displaced by Floods
This bulletin is a summary of a report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission [hereafter referred to as “the Commission” or “ZHRC”]
recording its assessment of the human rights situation of communities in
the Tsholotsho district affected by the floods experienced in the 2013/2014
rainy season. The report considered the actions of the entities sharing
disaster management responsibilities in the context of the floods and
made “recommendations designed to enhance the safety and well-being of
the affected communities in future” [See the full text of the report on the
Veritas website link.]
Although the report was produced over two years ago, we believe it is
important to once again draw attention to its existence, for the following
reasons—
• Its recommendations for the enactment of appropriate legislation
have not been implemented by Government [see further below].
• In February this year the Tsholotsho district was once again
severely affected by flooding of low-lying areas in the wake of Cyclone
Dineo, resulting in over 850 people being displaced and much loss of
property, crops and livestock. Other areas, too, were affected.
• The recent commissioning of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam in Masvingo
Province served as a reminder of the displacement of 2 700 families
living both upstream and downstream of the dam site in February 2014
as a result of flooding.
That situation was the subject of another Human Rights Commission
report [link] outlining the State’s responsibilities for displaced persons
under the Constitution and international law [see summary in Veritas’
Commissions Watch 2/2017 link]. The recommendations in this report
have not been implemented. More than three years after the disaster,
many of its victims are still in the temporary Chingwizi Relocation Site
awaiting permanent relocation. This is a national disgrace.
Background to the Report
The Commission, in line with its mandate of promoting, protecting and
enforcing human rights, conducted an investigative report on the situation
in Tsholotsho which is in Matabeleland North Province. The district was
affected by floods during the 2013/2014 rainy season which resulted in

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