Civil society groups in Zimbabwe have set up community structures to monitor, alert and report human rights issues ahead of the Mwenezi East by-election slated for the 8th of April 2017.
In a statement released to the media, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Heal Zimbabwe Trust and the Election Resource Centre (ERC), have teamed up to organise community human rights education meetings in Mwenezi East as part of the process to set up community structures that will ensure all human rights violations are reported.
Speaking on the move to set up community structures, ZimRights Director, Okay Machisa said the selected people will help in raising early warning signs and referral systems for reporting and monitoring human rights issues.
“It is a way of putting the communities on alert, and raising early warning and referral systems for reporting and monitoring human rights issues.
“In case of election-related human rights concerns, the community monitors will be expected to alert the parent civil society organisations, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the police and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.”
“They will be on the lookout from now until the time of the election,” said Machisa.
He added that during elections, politicians have used all sorts of tricks including intimidation and politicisation of food aid to win, but some of these contrivances had led to human rights violations
President Robert Mugabe proclaimed April 8, 2017, as the date of the parliamentary by-election after the seat fell vacant on December 22, 2016, following the death of former legislator Joshua Moyo .
The nomination court will convene at Masvingo Magistrates Court on February 17, 2017.