Press Release on Post-election Developments in Zimbabwe

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) has through its Country Rapporteur for the Republic of Zimbabwe (the Country Rapporteur), keenly followed with concern a number of developments following the elections in Zimbabwe on 30 July 2018.

    The Commission is concerned that the peaceful voting process was subsequently followed by violence and excessive use of force against protestors by the Military which reportedly left six protestors dead and many others injured.

    The Commission deeply regrets the loss of lives and the injuries that victims of the violence and the excessive use of force by the military suffered; and strongly condemns the use of excessive force by the Military on protestors;

    Furthermore, the Commission is equally concerned with reports of alleged crackdown and overnight raids on the opposition MDC Alliance Party members by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) including a raid on the party’s offices in central Harare where 21 members of the party were arrested;

    The Commission wishes to respectfully remind the Government of Zimbabwe of its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Commission’s Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, its Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa and Resolution 133 on Elections in Africa;

    The Commission urges the Government of Zimbabwe to conduct investigations into the post-election violence; and specifically urges the Government to ensure that the investigations are thorough, prompt and impartial and that necessary measures including holding those responsible accountable and providing adequate remedies including reparations to the victims are undertaken;

    The Commission also urges the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to institute measures to increase transparency and accountability in the electoral process to avoid recurrence of violence in future elections and to pursue relevant reforms to prevent recurrence of violence by the security forces during protests;

    The Commission further urges the Government to ensure that the right to fair trial including the right to be released on bail and the right to be tried within a reasonable time of those arrested are respected and that the opposition MDC Alliance Party can carry out their lawful activities freely without fear, intimidation or violence;

    Further, the Commission appeals to the leaders of all political parties to urge their supporters to act peacefully and urges stakeholders and citizens to pursue grievances peacefully and through established legal channels and where a choice to protest is made, they should exercise their right to freedom of assembly within the bounds of the legitimate limits set by regional and international human rights standards and without resort to acts of violence.

    Commissioner Jamesina E.L. King, Commissioner Rapporteur for the Republic of Zimbabwe

    7 August 2018

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      Date: 07 August 2018

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