Politically motivated sexual violence against women in Zimbabwe takes many forms. These include extreme violence, gang rape and insertion of objects (bottles and sticks) into the women‟s genitalia. This report is the first coming out of Zimbabwe focusing particularly on politically motivated rape; the aim of the study was to provide a valid and reliable description of cases of politically motivated rape. Since this was a clinical rather than an epidemiological study, there was no attempt to determine either the prevalence of political rape or to establish how representative the sample was.
The sample was chosen from women members of a voluntary network set up to provide support for female victims of politically motivated rape. A total of 34 women were interviewed, but 7 were excluded from the study as they could not be traced on follow-up for medical examinations and finalizing and signing affidavits. Hence, the data is drawn from a final sample of 27 women.

It is very foolish when Zimbabweans, 110 of them, and most members of the Government since 2000, or high-ranking members of the security forces, or ranking members of ZANU PF, decide to sue the European Union for “falsely” placing restrictive conditions on them, and on some of their companies. It is foolish because, no matter the propaganda value of taking the European Union to court, they placed themselves in court, and not a court that they could subvert, like the SADC Tribunal, but a court that has credibility in the international court of opinion.In a very brief press statement on 22nd April 2015, the General Court of the European Union dismissed the application by Johannes Tomana, 109 other Zimbabweans, and 11 companies to annul the restrictive conditions placed on them (initially in 2002) by the Council of Europe. This article is an op ed piece considering the judgment.

In this study, RAU sought to establish the perceptions of community security from youth and women from two sites, one rural and one urban in the Midlands province. The rationale was to establish how women and youth in an urban area define community security and if their issues are the same as those in a rural area. The overarching aim of this project was to find ways to strengthen youth and women’s voices on community security needs and facilitate an active role of these two important groups in working towards developing their communities.

Fractious nature of the main political parties in Zimbabwe since the July, 2013 elections has resulted in numerous suspensions and expulsions of party members, schisms in the parties and has meant that there has been frequent recourse to subsections 129(1)(k) and 129(1)(l) of the national Constitution. These subsections have been subject to a variety of interpretations and inconsistently implemented. This paper sets out the circumstances in which the subsections have had application post the 31st July, 2013 elections and considers some legal aspects pertaining to the provisions.

This is a collation of thoughts from members of RAU to mark International Women's Day and Sixteen days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

An important error has been noted in the previous posting of the this article. The article erroneously retained the phrase "one of whom shall be a woman" in the part of section 32 relating to the appointment of the Vice-Presidents. This phrase has of course been removed. There is no longer a requirement that one Vice-President be a woman. Our apologies to readers for the confusion caused.

The State Constitution provides that if President Mugabe dies or retires while in office, a nominee of ZANU PF will serve out his remaining term. The nominee so appointed as State President is likely to be whoever ZANU PF chooses to take over as President and First Secretary of the Party. Thus the manner in which the ZANU PF Party President is chosen, is a matter of national, and not merely party, interest.

At ZANU PF’s 6th National People’s Congress amendments were purportedly made to the Party Constitution which changed the way in which all members of the Party Presidium, including the President, are to be appointed. The Presidium comprises the President, two Vice-Presidents and National Chairman. However, quite evidently, these amendments were not validly made. The article discusses the amendments to the constitution and various illegalities both in the making of the amendments and in the implementation of the Party Constitution at Congress and shortly thereafter.

It is seems doubtful that there has been any progress since July 2013 in addressing the conditions specified in Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement, and certainly no progress in the areas of human rights, rule of law, and democratic principles. This report analyses the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement, focusing on Zimbabwe and queries the decision of the EU to ease the restrictive measures imposed on Zimbabwe in light of the failure of the Zimbabwean government to adhere to the benchmarks which had been set as a precondition in this regard.

The manner in which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) conducted the 31st July, 2013 general election has been the subject of much discussion. This report, coming as it does sixteen months after the poll, may seem outdated. However, several events over this period make it necessary to highlight and bring to the fore once more ZEC’s conduct of the 2013 ballot.

This research report presents the findings of case study research with youth in six locations in Zimbabwe, carried out within the Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency (PVCA) programme. It shows how young people experience growing up as citizens in a country known for its repressive regime, and highlights the differences for young men and young women

This report is a follow-up to the preliminary report produced by the Women’s Trust (TWT) and the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) in early 2014 on the effectiveness of the SiMuka! Zimbabwe, Woman, Get Counted! Register to Vote! in getting women to register to vote and to vote. This report goes further to note that whilst it is encouraging to see women turn out to vote in elections, and even more gratifying to see that the turn out can be strongly increased by woman to woman advocacy, there is always need to conduct a reality check on the actual process of the election and its outcome. This report investigates whether what happened before, during and after the elections affects women’s views of the elections and whether this differs for women in urban areas as for women in rural areas.