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.Read More