Search Results For: Organised Violence and Torture and Elections in Zimbabwe

Organised Violence and Torture and Elections in Zimbabwe


Organised Violence and Torture (OVT) has been a feature of political life in this country for decades. It was present before independence in 1980, continued through the 1980s during the Gukurahundi period, and has been a feature of elections since 2000, although not wholly absent from elections prior to 2000. Elections in Zimbabwe are often a time when citizens are fearful about the possibility of political violence, more than half (52%) said so in the 2017 Afrobarometer survey.

The present report, Organised Violence and Torture and Elections in Zimbabwe, describes the OVT in all the elections since 2000. There are more than 90 reports describing this, but this report drew on the reports that provided quantitative data on the OVT: it does not take a qualitative case study approach. The report details the OVT for each of the elections – 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2013 and 2018 – describing the various forms of OVT, the kinds of victims, and the alleged perpetrators.

With elections pending in 2023, and growing fears that these could be violent once again, the report concludes with a range of recommendations for the Zimbabwe government, SADC, and the international community.

This report is one of a series on the history of OVT in Zimbabwe, and is part of a collaborative effort of a consortium of non-governmental organisation, working together to provide assistance to the victims of OVT, irrespective of time, race, gender or political affiliation.

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Organised Violence and Torture and Elections in Zimbabwe


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A Consolidated Report on Pre and Post Organised Violence and Torture during the 2023 Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe.


This report examines more carefully the OVT that took place during the formal 90 days of the election, from 1 June to 22 August 2023. This is the period during which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should have formal and untrammelled control of the hustings, manage and minimise all OVT in all forms, and engage the state in ways to ensure a peaceful poll.

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A Consolidated Report on Pre and Post Organised Violence and Torture during the 2023 Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe.


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Elections 2023 Webinar Series Policy Brief No. 5 Organised Violence and Torture and Elections in 2023: Can the Citizens be Insulated from this?


Zimbabwe has an unfortunate history of Organised Violence and Torture (OVT) during elections, especially since 2000, with the elections in 2000, 2002, and 2008 being the most violent. However, no election since 2000 has been free from OVT, intimidation, and threats to the voter. When it comes to elections, Zimbabwe is the most violent country in SADC.

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TRAUMA AND MENTAL HEALTH IN ZIMBABWE


This paper falls into three sections.

The first section provides a brief overview of organised violence and torture in Zimbabwe, mainly drawing on statistics from the 2001-2009 period, but in some cases going back further, Figures showing the kinds of abuse inflicted and its frequency provide evidence of the extent to which Zimbabweans have suffered during this period of complex emergency, when the infrastructure of the country has collapsed around them. Further surveys are presented to support the argument that damage to the psychological well-being of the population is likely to be one of the most serious and long-lasting effects of the ongoing crisis. Information gathered from war veterans underlines the persistant impact of unresolved trauma after the liberation war and figures relating to the gukurahundi, to elections and to Operation Murambatsvina show how specific events have increased the level of mental suffering. Furthermore, the effects of organized violence and torture in Zimbabwe must be contextualized within the global HIV epidemic (of which Zimbabwe is an epicentre) and the social effects of economic decline and mass impoverishment.

It is also argued that attention must be paid to the psychological well-being of those who have suffered indirectly , particularly women and children, as research suggests that the impact of violence and torture extends beyond those directly victimised. A second category of indirect‘ sufferers includes the impact of these forms of suffering on mental health professionals and human rights workers.

The effect of organised violence and torture on the social fabric of communities and the disempowerment which results both from individual suffering and from the fragmentation of relationships and systems which might have provided support or offered resistance is acknowledged as another important area for attention.

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