Executive Summary [From Full PDF report - CLICK HERE to Download]
The 30 July polls in Zimbabwe were for the presidency, parliament and local councils - known as the Harmonised Elections - and were the first since the stepping down from power of the former president Robert Mugabe after 37EU Observer Mission Logo years in office. Many previous elections have been contentious and with reports of abuses, and so while the commitment to hold credible elections by the interim president was welcomed, a legacy of the past was a low level of trust in the democratic process and institutions, which permeated the electoral environment.
The right to stand was provided for, the elections were competitive and political freedoms during the campaign were respected. On Election Day, voters enjoyed the right to vote and both the campaign and election day were largely peaceful. However, the right to an effective legal remedy was not adequately provided for, there is no equal suffrage and shortcomings in the registration of voters somewhat compromised universal and equal suffrage. Notably, major shortcomings in the pre-election environment impacted on the free expression of the will of electors, state resources were misused in favour of the incumbent and coverage by state media was heavily biased in favour of the ruling party. Further, the electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability. Finally, the restrictions on political freedoms, the excessive use of force by security forces and abuses of human rights in the post-election period undermined the corresponding positive aspects during the pre-election campaign. As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards.

Amnesty International has launched a campaign to seek justice for the 6 civilians murdered by soldiers in Harare on 1st August 2018

#Remember the 6

Soldier running with bayonet fixed and attacking civiliansParliamentary, legal and civil rights watchdog, Veritas, has said that the appointment of the Kgalema Motlanthe led Commission of Inquiry to look into the events of August 1 was illegal. However, Veritas goes on to say that President Emmerson Mnangagwa can still rectify the situation when a new cabinet is appointed. In its latest bulletin, Veritas says

Elections alone are not giving the Zimbabwe government the legitimacy we all so badly need.  This is illustrated by the following statement:  “When not shooting civilians in the back, Zimbabwe’s ruling élite seems to be shooting itself in the foot.”  Those words appeared in The Economist on 11th August, in an article commenting on post-election violence.  The Economist is a highly respected magazine read by influential people in government and business throughout the world, and its comments on Zimbabwe are likely to colour the attitudes of potential investors and many western governments towards this country.

In view of this, the President’s announcement that he has appointed a commission of inquiry to look into post-election violence is to be given a cautious welcome.  Cautious because there are several problems with the commission, as will be explained in this bulletin.

The President’s Announcement

The announcement was given in a statement issued by the President on 29th August.  In it he said that he had appointed a seven-member commission consisting of local, regional and international members “who have been appointed in terms of the Commission [sic] of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07].”  The commission’s terms of reference, he went on, were as follows:

By Kingstone Jambawo: "Open for Freedom" meets "Walk for Freedom"

London - 22 February 2018 - The founder of #ThisFlag Movement Pastor Evan Mawarire presented a passionate speech about his experiences, economic drive, and constitutional challenges at Westminster Parliament today.
The event which was organised by the Henry Jackson Society was attended by members of Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation (ZHRO), Zimbabwe Diaspora Community, and Lord Chidgey who was in the chair until the arrival of MP for Vauxhall, Kate Hoey.

  • In his speech Pastor Mawarire described the situation in Zimbabwe as dire saying that a 30 minute speech by President Mnangagwa cannot change the effects of 37 years.
  • He said that those who were instrumental in intimidating the opposition - denied citizens their choices in 2008 and 2013 are still in government.
  • He paid tribute to the late Morgan Tsvangirai for putting up a great fight for freedom and justice under the most difficult conditions.
  • He criticised the regime for failing to publicly apologise for the Gukurahundi atrocities saying that it is the responsibility of the government to provide closure for the victims.
  • He gave his own personal experience at the hands of the regime and warned that it can happen to anyone.

"We need to move away from a situation where Zimbabwe is owned by a few - $15 billion goes missing and no one can account for it - we were incarcerated for demanding our rights - gone are the days when people remained silent - young people have gripped the idea of freeing themselves - our freedom is more important to us than ever before" he said.

 When asked by the BBC reporter about Free and Fair Election - he was not at all confident that these would happen and cited 2000 and 2008 as examples of Military interference (with 2008 being a de-facto Coup - the Military refused to accept the MDC Victory).

"When MDC won the elections in 2008, the missing factor was the ordinary citizens - we the people were the missing component - but since #ThisFlag Movement, people have made it their aim to sacrifice for freedom - Mugabe had said that there are special jails for people like us saying ‘leave our politics alone' - and people like Paul Chizuze and Itai Dzamara are still missing" he said.

Source: News24 Correspondent, Zimbabwe
Harare - Zimbabwe is entering a period of acute risk for mass atrocities - and things could get worse if President Robert Mugabe dies, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is warning.

Aged 92 and increasingly frail, the longtime Zimbabwe president's days are clearly numbered.

But he still has not named a successor and wants to stand in elections due in 2018.