August 2021 was a politically charged month in Zimbabwe.
The social media buzz over the opposition victory in neighbouring Zambia translated into more campaigns and increased political activity by the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance parties in Zimbabwe
Despite the COVID -19 lockdown in place, Zanu PF continued with its campaigns and restructuring like it was business as usual.
As a result of being politically active, Zanu PF contributed to over 21 percent of erpetrators of human rights violations in August 2021.
This was mostly due to the fact that party officials and activists coerced citizens to be part of the party’s activities, in the process infringing their freedom to associate .
The main opposition party, the MDC Alliance and its breakaway, the MDC -T, both contributed to just under 0. 2 percent of the perpetrators
All this happened as Zimbabweans experienced an increase in the cost of living and the worsening of the public transport crisis
The unavailability of safe and reliable public transportation has become a major human rights issue in Zimbabwe as government continues to maintain a ban on public transport operators at a time when the government owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has not managed to build its capacity to cater for the huge demand for its services.
Members of the public therefore end up resorting to using trucks and other vehicles, popularly known as mushikashika as public transport, or spend hours queuing for ZUPCO buses, exposing themselves to COVID -19 and losing productive time
We take a look at the issues affecting the public transport system
We also delve into the story behind the forcing of young girls into marriage scandal at the Johane Marange apostolic sect and focus on how the sect, which enjoys political protection, uses various means of suppressing the rights of children and women
Charged with the responsibility to enforce COVID -19 lockdown measures, the police contributed to just over 50 percent of the human rights violations
This is mainly because the officers used brute methods, or simply did not follow arrest procedures while enforcing measures such as the 6 .30 pm curfew
In one of the cases, some commercial sex workers who were found loitering after the curfew in Marondera alleged that police officers demanded sexual favours in return for freedom
The police were also responsible for the ten cases of unlawful detention.
We also look at the human rights issue around government’s failure to avail national registration documents considering that for one to write public exams, vote in national
elections, or access aid and some financial and government services, they need to either have national identity card or birth certificate