Commissions Watch 15th Nov 2018 [ZHRC Reports: Politically Partisan Distribution of State Aid during Elections] Constitutional provisions the ZHRC found to have been violated include: • section 194(1)(d), which states that "services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias". The act of denying food inputs or any other form of assistance emanating from the State, on account of political allegiance or belief, as revealed in the ZHRC reports, constitutes a violation of the legal rights of those citizens who were deprived of these benefits. • section 77, which cites a right to food as a fundamental human right: “Every person has the right… to sufficient food.” Any partisan coercion based on peoples’ need of food and the receipt of or hope of getting food is a violation of this right. • section 67(1)(b), which enshrines political rights, for example, “Every Zimbabwean citizen has the right to make political choices freely”. • section 281(2), which prohibits traditional leaders from being members of political parties or engaging in partisan activity or “furthering the interests of any political party” The ZHRC also points out that section 133A(d) of the Electoral Act, which lists acts of intimidation prohibited in the context of elections, makes "withholding or threatening to withhold from a person any assistance or benefit to which that person is legally entitled" a serious criminal offence. Also highlighted by the ZHRC is section 5(1)(t) of the Traditional Leaders Act, which places a duty on Chiefs to assist “drought and famine relief agencies in coordinating relief and related matters in his area.” Recommendations by ZHRC to the Authorities Each of the four reports ends with a long list of recommendations, addressed to the following: complainants and concerned members of the public; to ZANU PF and other political parties; the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing [regarding misconduct and ignorance on the part of traditional leaders]; the Ministry Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement [regarding the need for better administration, control and monitoring of distribution of agricultural inputs]; and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare [regarding the need for need for better administration, control of monitoring of food aid]. The reports speak of responsible Ministry officials being sidelined by the party office-holders who had completely taken over the distribution of State aid and blatantly used their de facto power to give preferential treatment to ZANU PF supporters. This explains the standard recommendation to the two Ministries concerned – to empower and protect their officials in the provinces and districts to perform their duties without interference from politicians and other stakeholders. Veritas Comment

Select target paragraph3