Still farms so as to distribute the land

Still receiving
opposition from the members of the mandebele clan, an elite squad of North
Korea trained brigade known as ‘Gukurahundi’ meaning(, the early rain that
washes away the chaff before the spring rain’). As a result of the raid, at
least 20000 civilians lost their lives. This was the beginning of  the many human rights violations from
torture, assaults, unlawful arrests, rigged elections, discrimination, police
brutality and ethnic cleansing among others that were carried out on the
Zimbabwean people by the government. Over time the government has tried to give
the nation a positive image to the international community through public
relation stunts but many human rights agencies have negatively criticized them.

HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

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President Mugabe who
is from the shona clan and was facing resistance from the mandebele clan
resulted to the ethnic cleansing on the mandebele clan which claimed at least
20000 civilian lives. This followed by the protests of the trade unionists who
held peaceful protest on payments but in turn, they  received by police brutality where by some
people were arrested without trial, others claimed they were tortured and
disappearance of  others. The government
also carried out forceful redistribution of land whereby they chased away the
whites using the militia groups like ZANLA from their farms so as to distribute
the land (which they did not do) instead of coming into an agreement with the
whites on how to distribute the land. Other cases included again students
protesting on the increased government control on the universities they were
dispersed denying them their freedom of association and expression. The arrest
of  three foreign journalists who claimed
they were arrested and tortured by the Zimbabwe authorities. In the history of
Zimbabwe, they have never had free, fair and credible elections. Voters are intimidated,
 they are forced to reveal their vote to
party officials which is not supposed to happen, the voters are also bribed and
harassment of the oppositions by the government and issuing death threats to
the opposition. Women’s rights in Zimbabwe although stated in theory that they
are protected by the government, there is still a high percentage of under age
and forceful marriages. Women are harassed at their work places and do not get
equal pay for the work they have done compared to the men, the women still face
domestic violence and no action is taken when they forward their issues. This
justifies the fact that Zimbabwe is still a cultural relativist state that
believes in the communal rights where the women are oppressed.

LINKING THE VIOLATIONS WITH THE TREATIES AT REGIONAL
AND INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

At both the regional
and international level, Zimbabwe has breached many human rights treaties at
both levels, some of which it is signatory to and others not. In the regional
level, it violated the African (Banjul) Charter on Humans and Peoples rights
under the African Union1
which is intended to promote and protect the human  rights and basic freedoms in the African
continent. This is the only regional treaty at play in this context. In the
international level there is the ICCPR, ICESCR, the Convention against torture,
the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms against Racial
discrimination, the International Convention on the prevention of All persons
disappearance all under the United Nations.2  The ICCPR was violated by denying the  people of Zimbabwe the rights to freely
determine their political status and forcing them to reveal their votes to the
party officials before they cast them, they intimidated the voters and bribed
them. The government also through dispersing of peaceful protestors was
violating the citizen’s rights. The ICCPR is supposed to protect the citizens
from the excesses of the state  and
protect their civil and political rights. On the regional level, the African
charter on article 20 gives the guidelines on the political rights of the
people. The ICESCR was also violated which is based on maintaining a minimal
descent living standard of living consistent with human beings. It is the
responsibility of the state to ensure that its people have quality ling
standards, good healthcare, good education and equal pay for equal work but in
the case of Zimbabwe, the government does not provide thee necessities to its
people. It does not show any efforts to try and improve the living standards of
its people. Some of the they even deny their citizens. In the case during a
riot, protestors who were injured through police brutality were denied health
care to treat them and the judiciary also did not listen to their case when
they forwarded it to the courts. This shows that the state has even corrupted
the court system and it is not carrying out its duties as it is supposed to.

Mugabe’s government
also chased away white farmers from their field so as to redistribute their
land to the people of which they did not do. They violated the farmers the
right to disposal of wealth and natural resources. Various allegations were
made on the use of torture by the Zimbabwe military and police forces against
civilians. On the UN charter, there is a Convenction against torture and also
under the African charter on humans and peoples rights an article that
addresses the issues of torture. There were allegations that  were made by three American journalists who
were arrested and and tortured. Other cases are the likes of the opposition
party members stating that they were assaulted by the police and tortured, some
of their members disappeared and others were killed during protests. The
Movement for Democratic Change( MDC) headed by Morgan Tsvangirai and the
members were detained without trial also. They violated the International
Convenction of the prevention of all persons disappearance which is also
present in the African charter on Humans and peoples rights.

1 Mutua, M.W., 1994. The Banjul Charter and the
African cultural fingerprint: An evaluation of the language of duties. 

2 http://www.unfpa.org/resources/core-international-human-rights-instruments