Sunday, 28 February 2016

Zimbabwe: While Mugabe is eating cake…

Source: Wikicommons, 12/08/06. Demonstration against Robert Mugage’s regime next to the Zimbabwe embassy in London, on August 12, 2006. Author: TwoWings.

Here is what Human Rights Watch (2015) reports:

According to figures released by the International Monetary Fund in June, Zimbabwe’s external debt obligations at the end of 2013 were estimated be US$10.6 billion (over 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product). The government is failing to achieve greater transparency in diamond production and revenue collection, affecting its ability to invest in desperately needed public services, including essential services such as water, education, health, and sanitation.

Some 20,000 people, displaced by flooding from the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam in Masvingo province in February, were evicted and resettled with little government protection. They have not received adequate compensation, including land for resettlement, and were pressured to relocate to land with disputed titles. When displaced people protested in August, over 200 anti-riot police used excessive force and beat and arrested about 300 people; 29 were charged with public violence. At time of writing, the case was still being heard in court.

In the capital, Harare, many people have little access to potable water and sanitation. Police violated basic rights, such as freedom of expression and assembly, using old laws that are inconsistent with the new constitution. Activists and human rights defenders, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, faced police harassment. There has been no progress toward securing justice for human rights abuses and past political violence, including violence after the 2008 election.

For instance, in January:

police arrested five activists from four NGOs—Chitungwiza Residents Trust, Combined Harare Residents Association, Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe Trust, and Zimbabwe Human Rights Association—for participating in a demonstration in Chitungwiza. They were later released without charge. Also in January, police arrested 12 leaders of the Zimbabwe National Students Union. The students, who were beaten in police custody, were arrested during a demonstration against poor education standards at Harare Polytechnic College.

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