The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has deployed election monitors in all parts of the country, with effect from 23 July to 6 August 2018, to monitor the Harmonised Elections scheduled for 30 July 2018 as well as the post-election period.
In terms of section 243 (c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, one of the functions of the ZHRC is “to monitor, assess and ensure observance of human rights and freedoms”.
In light of this mandate, the ZHRC has been monitoring all electoral processes and contributing to the promotion of an environment conducive to the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
The Commission has deployed a total of 23 teams spread across the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe. Harare, Bulawayo, Matabeleland and Mashonaland Provinces have two teams each while Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland have three teams each.
Apart from monitoring the political situation, the ZHRC teams will also be doing their usual duties of complaints handling and investigation, as well as human rights education and promotion as provided for in section 243 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
ZHRC has been and promises continue to visit communities and use all available media (including IEC material if necessary), to give civic education to the grassroots.
It urged the public should to take advantage of the presence of the Commission teams in their respective areas to lodge any human rights-related complaints and report any violations to the following provincial team leaders: Mr Vincent Makoni (Harare)–0773 451 297, Mr Royce Midzi (Bulawayo)–0772 935 381, Mrs Kurai Makumbe (Matabeleland South)–0772 268 256, Mr Alondoliziwe Sitsha (Matabeleland North)–0783 354 085, Mr Erick Mukutiri (Midlands)–0772 357718, Ms Elizabeth Tswana (Masvingo)–0774 717 136, Mr Tinashe Makuyana (Mashonaland West)–0773 012 548, Dr Makanatsa Makonese (Mashonaland East)–0774 684 902, Mrs Karukai Ratsauka (Mashonaland Central)–0772 662853 and Mr Tapiwa Maedza (Manicaland)–0773 015 853.
In that respect, the normal channels of communication with the Commission also remain in operation. The team members shall, at all times, be identified by their branded regalia, ZHRC identity cards and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) accreditation badges.
The Commission reiterated that every Zimbabwean citizen is entitled to the enjoyment of political rights enshrined in the Constitution, in particular section 67 (1) (b) which guarantees every citizen the right to make political choices freely.
Section 67 (2) (b) accords citizens the right to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause, whilst section 67 (2) (c) guarantees the right to participate in peaceful political activity. Every citizen also has the right to vote in secret in accordance with section 67 (3) (a). Section 52 (a) protects every citizen from all forms of violence from public or private sources, whilst section 58 (1) guarantees every citizen freedom of assembly and association and the right not to assemble or associate with others.
Furthermore, every citizen is reminded that rights come with responsibilities, so as we enjoy our freedoms, let us not infringe on other people’s rights and political parties must desist from making threatening statements that incite followers to commit violence.