Helping the victims and survivors of Organised Violence and Torture in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, as a result of the many periods in which Organised Violence and Torture (OVT) has occurred, has the consequence of tens of thousands of victims and survivors. This report outlines the problems that victims and survivors in Zimbabwe are experiencing, especially the mental health problems that are the most persistent sequelae of OVT. The report looks at the legacy from the Liberation War until the present and indicates some of the ways in which civil society organisations are providing assistance.

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16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Statement: “Orange the world: End violence against women now!” Is “Incivility” Violence Against Women?

This statement notes that the major problem is the invisibility of VAW, with so much taking place behind the
closed doors of homes, and too frequently underplayed by the blindness of patriarchal societies. It answers the question: Is “Incivility” Violence Against Women?

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16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: “Orange the world: End violence against women now!” Is “Incivility” Violence Against Women?

This report argues that “incivility” is on the rise, even though studies on the topic are few especially in Africa. It unpacks how “incivility”, “bullying” and “selective incivility” contribute to VAW.

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The Gender Lens’ Women’s Leadership During Crisis

Violence against women and the marginalization of women’s participation in decision making is on the rise in
Zimbabwe and globally. This problem manifests itself in terrifying varieties throughout the world. Women and
girls experience verbal, sexual, physical and psychosocial, and other forms of violations in the fabric of their
everyday lives in societies around the world. They are excluded from the decision making spheres. Marginalisation, violence, and exclusion are affecting their efficacy in economic, social, and political spheres, leading to
their underrepresentation. As a new gender journal, one of the goals of Gender Lens is to unravel that thread by
shedding light, not only on forms of violence that are already widely discussed, but also on lesser-known forms
of violence, such as sexism, female enslavement in tourism, political violence, and rape as a weapon against
female participation.

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This report explores the history of displacements in Zimbabwe, and chronicles how Organised Violence and Torture (OVT) is often associated with the various episodes of displacements described. It demonstrates how difficult it is to force people to move voluntarily and the need therefore to use forcibly displace people. This force attains the status of gross human rights violations, sometimes meeting the threshold of a crime against humanity as in the case of Operation Mrambatsvina.

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2021 International Youth Day Statement "Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health"

RAU’s 2021 International Youth Day Statement argues that it is necessary to involve the young in sustainable future planning, not to do this can make all the problems of climate change much worse. This year’s International Youth Day was commemorated under the theme: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”.

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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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Citizenship, Agency and Deliberative Democracy in Five SADC Countries

SADC is composed of countries that achieved independence through armed struggle and those that achieved this through political struggle. Many commentators have suggested that liberation movements that acquired government through armed struggle have a propensity for coercion in maintaining political power; Zimbabwe the worst at resorting to coercion (RAU 2016).. We examined this thesis by comparing five SADC countries: three that are governed by former liberation movements – Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – with three countries that earlier achieved independence through political action.

We compared these five countries through the eyes of their citizens, using the Afrobarometer Round 7 surveys in those countries. We attempt to examine whether political history affects citizen agency, looking at a number of variables that might reflect this: political fear, political trust, government performance, and participation. Measures were constructed for each of these variables and we included one further question on desire to emigrate as another measure of citizen satisfaction.

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