Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ZIMBABWE: Civil Society delivers first monitoring report on Inclusive Government

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Civil society organisations launched the first Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism (CISOMM) Periodic Report in Harare last Wednesday on 22.4.09. The Report covering the months of February and March 2009 assesses the sincerity, accountability and transparency of the political parties to achieving the democratic reforms agreed following the signing of the Interparty Political Agreement (IPA) on the 15th of September 2008. The full report is available to read on line via the following web link

The Sokwanele website has also been monitoring the situation by tracking articles and reports which provide examples of violations of the agreement between ZANU PF and the two formations of the MDC. The The Zimbabwe Inclusive Government Watch, (ZIG Watch) issue No 4 of 27.4.08 can be accessed via the following website

Today, 28.4.09, our member organization, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) issued a Press Statement giving an update on three WOZA court appearances, including that of 8 WOZA members and 2 lawyers who appeared in Harare Magistrates Court today and were removed off remand because the State was not ready for the trial to proceed. The full round-up of cases can be read on line at the WOZA website via the following link

The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) issued a Media Release today, 28.4.09, reporting on the anticipated appearance in court of the ZINASU Legal Affairs Secretary in relation to the protests at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo last week which saw ZINASU launch the ‘National Campaign against Dollarisation of Education in Zimbabwe’.On 27.4.09 Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) released a Zimbabwe Update for the month of April 2009. The Update is available to read on-line via the following web site:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zimbabwe Inclusive Government Watch : Issue 4

Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Inclusive Government Watch (ZIG Watch) is tracking articles and reports which provide examples of violations of the agreement between Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Formations signed in Harare on 15 September 2008. This report reflects a small sample of breaches identified through comprehensive logging and monitoring of media articles. Many more breaches are viewable on our website:

Zimbabwe Alert Update: Police launch manhunt for released freelance photojournalist


On 24 April 2009, Zimbabwe’s Police launched a search for freelance journalist; Anderson Shadreck Manyere who was recently released on bail from Chikurubi Maximum Prison together with co-accused Movement for Democratic Change activist Gandhi Mudzingwa and Kisimusi Dhlamini.

The trio were granted bail by High Court Judge Charles Hungwe on 9 April 2009, and were released on 17 April, 2009 as their lawyers were unaware of the fact that State Prosecutor Chris Mutangadura had on 14 April, 2009 noted an appeal against the bail grant before Justice Bhunu. The appeal immediately evoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) which sets out the procedure for an appeal against bail.

The application was granted the same day that Manyere was released from Chikurubi Maximum Prison and automatically suspended the decision by Justice Hungwe to liberate the accused persons.

With the granting of the application, the police on 20 April, 2009 immediately re-arrested Gandhi Mudzingwa and Kisimusi Dhlamini who were admitted at the Avenues Clinic hospital and are presently searching for Manyere whose whereabouts are still unknown. In interviews with the media after his release, Manyere says he was severely tortured, denied food and medication while in police custody.

Manyere went missing after he had taken his vehicle to a garage in Norton about 40km west of Harare on 13 December 2008 until his appearance in court on 24 December 2008 together with Zimbabwe Peace Project Director, Jestina Mukoko.

He is charged under section 23 (1), (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which criminalises acts of insurgence, banditry, sabotage or terrorism or alternatively Section 143 of the same Act which relates to aggravating circumstances in relation to malicious damage to property.

His first for bail application before the High Court on 19 February 2009 was dismissed by Justice Yunis Omerjee. Justice Omerjee subsequently granted him leave to apply to the Supreme Court.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Civil Society Releases Damning Report on Political Agreement

Zimbabwe Independent
Thursday, 23 April 2009

CIVIL society has released its first monitoring report on the inclusive government in which they accuse President Robert Mugabe of violating provisions of the constitution and the global political agreement (GPA). A report released by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Wednesday says Mugabe appointed 41 ministers and 19 deputy ministers, contrary to the constitution.
“On the 13th of February 2009 and the 19th of February 2009, President Mugabe swore into office 41 government ministers and 19 deputy ministers respectively in direct contravention of the constitution which, in Schedule 8 (the only Schedule constitutionally entrenched to give force and effect to the inclusive government) stipulates that there shall be 31 government ministers and 15 deputy ministers,” reads the report.
The report says this bodes ill for a return to the respect for the constitution and the rule of law.
The report said the constitution-making process in terms of Article VI of the GPA was not included as part of the current constitution by way of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No19.
The civil society said: “This amendment refers to Schedule 10 (which sets out the Article VI process), which was initially included as part of the amendment when it was a Bill. However, this was then excluded when the Bill was signed and gazetted into law.”
A potential risk, the report said, was that the constitution-making process was not entrenched and could not be enforced.
The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, recently told parliament that Article VI had no constitutional effect and was merely for “public information purposes”.
Civil society said apart from the constitution-making process, there have been instances of non-compliance with certain procedures as well as provisions of the present Constitution of Zimbabwe, as amended by Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No19.
Amendment No19 itself was passed without public input and submissions, against the accepted norm, the report said. Similarly, the National Security Council Bill was fast-tracked without consultation with stakeholders.
However, civil society welcomed the appointment of three Ministers of State responsible for national healing as a positive mechanism towards the envisaged establishment of an Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation as outlined in the GPA.
The report said mechanisms for transitional justice were yet to be established, including the mechanism to make recommendations to government on national healing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Economic Situation

Eddie CrossBulawayo,
18th April 2009

Just how bad the situation is in the economy is not hard to see. Banks are empty – no clients and often just one teller on duty. Wholesalers are slowly getting back on their feet but stocks are pathetic and staff few and far between. The streets are empty of traffic and in town you can park anywhere.
In the largest supermarket in my home district 20 till points stand empty – only one was working. You do not have to book for a meal as most establishments are half empty. People do not have the money to entertain.Most factories are slowly starting to resume production but exporters are feeling the pinch as costs rise and export customers feel the global recession.

Several days a week we face power cuts, the water situation is hardly better and the roads are in a terrible state. Prices are coming down but cash is in short supply and low incomes inhibit personal spending on everything except the basics. Food is freely available but at a price and only in hard currency. Two thirds of the population are on food aid from a variety of organisations funded by the international community.
Hotels are running at about 30 per cent occupancy – mostly foreign, as local tourism has dried up. Investors are wary of the changes, fearing a collapse of the new government and a reversal to the old ways and Gono delinquency.He still struts the stage pretending to be a key player and this unnerves all business people except the corrupt cabal that is trying to hang onto what is left of their power and influence. Not even our neighbours trust us to handle their money – the US$30 million sent to Zimbabwe by South Africa in December just vanished – we could have told them that would happen but they were not listening.

While the international community have responded rapidly to the needs of the new government – raising their input by 100 per cent in the first quarter of this year to over US$100 million per month, the region has responded in a pathetic and halfhearted way. We asked them for US$1,5 billion in lines of credit and for US$500 million in essential budget support. After two months we have had pledged US$30 million in aid from South Africa and US$70 million in a line of credit from Botswana. Since we are in this top heavy, cumbersome marriage of convenience largely at the instigation of the region, we really thought they would feel some responsibility for making it work.
Instead they have sat on the sidelines for 7 months while Mugabe procrastinated and when he finally agreed to share power with the MDC, we were forced to accept a lopsided deal which bore little regard to our respective political strengths. Even then they have stood back and watched as Mugabe has simply refused to keep his side of the bargain. Two months into the transitional government and not a single significant problem has been resolved.

No wonder the world watches Africa and despairs. Who can blame them when we cannot manage a simple exercise such as this one and do not put our own money where our mouth is. SADC compounds the problem when they stridently call for “sanctions to be lifted” and for the international community to dig deeply into their overburdened fiscal reserves to find huge sums for our economic recovery. In doing so they give the international community no recognition for their ongoing grant aid to Zimbabwe – now standing at nearly5 billion dollars since 2000 in the face of insults and widespread flaunting of all the rules of good governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The GPA promised media freedom – what has Mugabe delivered – a slight shift in the character of State propaganda? They are still jamming international radio broadcasts, still banning the BBC and CNN still harassing and imprisoning local journalists.
The GPA promised a halt to the farm invasions and respect for the rule law.Instead we have a rush of fresh invasions, more violence and intimidation.The theft of private assets and crops and a total disregard for the highest legal opinion in the SADC.
The GPA promised a halt to political violence, respect for our freedoms of assembly and association. Instead we have the continued detention of MDC activists, banned meetings and harassment of MP’s and local leadership.
The GPA promised that all major decisions and appointments would be carried out on a consensual basis and all that we have seen are repeated attempts by Mugabe to make decisions and appointments without consultation and agreement.
The GPA promised equity in government with a slight majority to the MDC in respect for its victory in the polls in March 2008. Instead Mugabe insists on maintaining control of almost all key government functions and not a single State institution has seen its leadership reformed to reflect the new reality.
Under these circumstances can anyone blame everyone for being sceptical about this transitional arrangement? What hope on earth has this got to yield a decent election in 2011, an election that will be respected by the international community? Who can blame the major bilateral and multilateral financial agencies for their caution and reluctance to come to the party when it is clear that once there they will simply be abused and used?
Who can blame the business community – here and abroad, for being cautious about coming in and helping our recovery with their own money? We have no right to expect to be trusted and until that changes there can be no progress. If Zanu PF cannot see that and accept that so long as they behave like a rogue elephant, they will be treated as such and with every justification. The main problem for everyone is that the innocent and the guilty suffer in this situation and the innocent in this deal can do very little about protecting their essential interests.
Today is Independence Day, Zimbabweans have very little to celebrate after29 years of poor and corrupt government and now on top of all that, inept regional leadership.

Media Freedom in Zimbabwe


The government of Zimbabwe, through its Ministry of Information, Media and Publicity, has sent out invitations for a national media stakeholders conference, titled, ‘Towards an Open, Tolerant, and Responsible Media Environment’. The conference is scheduled to be held in the resort town of Nyanga from 6-9 May 2009.

The objective of this conference is outlined as ‘To review Zimbabwe’s current media environment and policies in order to guide the Government’s media policy’. The programme indicates that the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity will give the official opening address while members of the Joint Implementation and Monitoring Committee (JOMIC) Ministers Professor Ncube, Honourable Chinamasa and Mr. Chagonda are expected to outline articles relevant to freedom of expression in the Global Political Agreement. It is also expected that various media stakeholders shall make presentations on various themes relating to the media.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Human rights defenders and activists gather at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy

Zimbabwe human rights activist Marlon Zakeyo looks on during the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy at the International Conference Center in Geneva April 19, 2009. The Durban Review Conference on racism, which will review progress and assess implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, will be held at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva from April 20 to 24, 2009.REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND POLITICS HEADSHOT)
UN Watch
April 19, 2009

Just a day before the “Durban II” Review Conference, the U.N.’s talkfest ..., human rights defenders and activists from around the world gathered in Geneva this morning to address the issues they wish the conference would itself address. Brought to the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy by a broad coalition of more than thirty NGOs., including UN Watch, these activists spoke out for victims of genocide and challenged the world’s authoritarian regimes.Opening remarks were delivered by Nazanin Afshin-Jam, former Miss Canada and co-founder/ President of “Stop Child Executions.” She stated that Ahmadinejad’s presence at Durban II will be a “slap in the face” to the international community. She called on countries that believe in freedom and democracy to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran and walk-out when Ahamdinejad is set to speak.

Elen Bork of Freedom House moderated the next panel discussion on “Resisting Authoritarianism: Human Rights, Democracy and the Dissident Movement.” She said it is appropriate that this discussion follows the one on genocide, because it is under authoritarian governments that genocide is committed.Jose Gabriel Ramon Castillo spoke about his experience as a dissident, activist and political prisoner in Cuba. He discussed his defiance in the face of the Castro regime as he continued to organized activities for his pro-democracy group in Cuba, despite the repression and intimidation he faced. Not only was he sentenced to twenty years in prison, but his family was also targeted. His wife was fired from her job and his daughter was expelled from school and confined to a hospital.Castillo denounced Durban II as an example of people refusing to denounce injustice. He said the conference is like giving an “oxygen booth to dictatorships so they can continue to trample on peoples’ lives.”

Castillo was followed by Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights advocate, Marlon Zakeyo. He described his journey as a human rights defender, which began when he joined a student movement seeking democracy and justice for his country.Commenting on the present political situation in Zimbabwe, he said the new government should only be viewed as a transitional one, the result of a pact between political elites. The voices of the masses of Zimbabwe were not heard, he said.He deplored the massacres unleashed on the Zimbabwean people since 2000, not to mention the atrocities of 1982-1987. He warned that there is no guarantee that Zimbabwe will not lash back into the “dark days.” He discussed the precarious situation of human rights defenders who face enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. He called this “state terrorism” by the government of Zimbabwe.He deplored the overcrowding of Zimbabwean prisons, filled in part with political prisoners, where diseases, such as cholera and HIV/AIDS are rampant. There is no freedom of expression or free media, he said.He called on the U.N. to send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe, which has not been done.

The Geneva Summit Manifesto of Human Rights Victims

The following was declared at the conclusion of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, by leading human rights activists from around the world: Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt; Jose Castillo of Cuba; Gibreil Hamid of Darfur, Sudan; Soe Aung of Burma; Marlon Zakeyo of Zimbabwe; and Gonzalo Himiob Santome of Venezuela. UN Watch, SOS Racisme, Freedom House and 30 human rights groups from around the world organized the event on the eve of the Durban Review Conference, to urge the UN to address compelling issues of discrimination and human rights.


Declaration of “Eternal Vigilance”
19 April 2009, Geneva

Having assembled at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, and on the proposal by the Venezuelan NGOs represented at the, it was decided to create a forum and platform for “Eternal Vigilance” that is integrated by all NGOs, human rights defenders, human rights protection institutions, former and present victims of discrimination on the basis of opinion, political persecution, prisoners and prisoners of conscience, to fulfill the objectives listed below.

This proposal was supported by the representatives of Zimbabwe, China, Cuba, Iran, Burma, Belarus, Sudan (Darfur), Venezuela and Egypt, taking into account that in those countries the governments do not respect human rights; have proved to be intolerant in several ways against dissidents; and in fact have arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned activists that work towards freedom and democracy.

We call on these governments to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience as defined by Amnesty International, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, and regional human rights organizations, and commit to work to resolve the critical human rights situations in their respective countries.
We call on the democratic governments to develop a systematic effort to improve human rights in countries where there is a critical human rights situation.

We hereby launch the campaign “Freedom for All.” This campaign consists in raising awareness in consciousness of the plight of all political prisoners in the world currently serving unjust prison sentences for defending human rights in some manner. We establish a map of liberation, which demonstrates which countries have and do not have political prisoners.
We invite all who wish to join to make this their struggle and cause for freedom. We ask for support for all those struggling for human rights and freedom around the world. We call on political, religious and student leaders, intellectuals, artists, and everyone, to struggle for the life and liberty of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

We call on members of the UN General Assembly to take into account and question candidates for membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council and vote against candidates that are systematic human rights violators, to avoid having the council undermined.

Thursday, April 16, 2009



For Immediate Release Contact: Eleiza Braun+41 (0)78 69 52 276

Global Webcast to Air All Day Human Rights Summit on Day Before Durban Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland --

Human rights victims, activists and reporters worldwide will be able via the internet to view and participate in the global summit of human rights activists that wil take place in Geneva this Sunday, on April 19, 2009, one day before the opening of the UN Durban Review Conference on racism and discrimination.

(To register, send an e-mail to, with “Register” in the subject line.)

Bo Kyi of Burma, Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt, Ahmed Batebi of Iran, Jose Castillo of Cuba, Marlon Zakeyo of Zimbabwe, and Floyd Abrams of the U.S. will be among the world renowned political prisoners, scholars and activists to address the group.“We are thrilled that victims, activists and journalists around the world will be able to watch and participate in Sunday’s historic human rights gathering” says Eleiza Braun, spokesperson for the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy. “The summit will hear from some of the leading figures in the struggle against genocide, discrimination and state repression of civil, political and religious freedom. They will be telling their stories and giving voice to the millions who are still in countries where they cannot speak out from fear of torture and persecution.”

SOS Racisms, Freedom House and 30 other worldwide NGOs have come together to bring speakers form Burma, Iran, Egypt, Cuba, Darfur and many other countries that are home to some of the world’s most dire human rights situations. Hundreds of human rights NGO activists are expected to attend in Geneva.

By registering in advance, viewers worldwide can watch the webcast – and pose questions via e-mail through the day. To register, send an e-mail to, with “Register” in the subject line. To attend in person, and for more details, see

What: The Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy

Who: Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Ahmed Batebi, Jose Gabriel Ramon Castillo, Bo Kyi, Marlon Zakeyo, Floyd Abrams and many more

Where: International Conference Center Geneva (CICG), 17 rue de Varembé, Geneva When: April 19, 2009, from 8:30 to 18:30

Register Now for the webcast: E-mail with “Register” in the subject line

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

S. African bishop who shelters Zimbabweans now gets death threats

Hans Pienaar

He has received several death threats and has been under guard by South African police, but that will not stop Bishop Paul Verryn of Johannesburg's Central Methodist Church from sheltering Zimbabwean refugees in the heart of the country's commercial capital. Verryn has been used to controversy since he began living in Soweto in the early 1980s, then one of only a handful of whites with homes in the huge conurbation of black dormitory towns instituted under the rule of apartheid. Whether it is care-giving for refugees or finding shelter for outcasts of government policies across southern Africa, he has weathered many onslaughts. These have included vociferous condemnation by apartheid theologians, police raids and smear campaigns. The most recent of attacks came from government lawmakers in the post-Nelson Mandela parliament and other officials over his sheltering of Zimbabwean refugees.
More on

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NCA to confront MPs over constitution

HARARE – 09/04/2009

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) on Thursday meets parliamentarians to iron out differences over the process of making a new constitution for Zimbabwe.The NCA says the manner in which the parliamentarians want to draft the new constitution is deeply flawed.
A power-sharing agreement reached between Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties last September binds the new government to come up with a new constitution in 18 months. Read full story on link below.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Organ on National Healing gets down to work

Herald Reporters
08 April 2009

THE Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation yesterday started work by meeting various stakeholders and urged Zimbabweans to desist from acts of violence. Organ chairperson Minister John Nkomo said Zimbabweans should contribute to the national healing and reconciliation process.The Organ — comprising Ministers of State Nkomo, Sekai Holland and Gibson Sibanda — is meeting stakeholders ahead of a conference expected to draw 4 000 delegates.Yesterday’s meeting was attended by representatives from Moral Re-armament Zimbabwe, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Zimbabwe Harvest Global Network and the business community.

"We are happy that there are people who are thinking seriously about this process and we hope that we will continue to receive more input from all stakeholders," said Minister Nkomo.He said the Organ’s mandate was not only to bring peace to Zimbabwe but guarantee a change in the conduct of Zimbabweans."We cannot wish each other away as we are coming from different political fields, but we need to recognise each other and have a totality of input from all Zimbabweans," he said.The Organ, Minister Nkomo said, would forward people’s suggestions to the leaders of Zanu-PF and the MDC formations — President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara.

It was also important for people to establish a "Zimbabwean project and programme to be run by Zimbabweans"."We would also like to call upon Zimbabweans to immediately stop violence and create mechanisms that the activities stop for good while creating an environment for Zimbabweans to exchange views from across the political divide," he said.

Minister Sibanda said national healing was crucial to the success of the inclusive Government."The Organ is a result of protracted negotiations leading to the Global Political Agreement of September 15, which has it that it would provide mechanisms to advise Government to make Zimbabwe come to terms with the past."We need to focus on the future of the country and we started with healing of ministers last week and bond them as they have come from different political parties," he said.Minister Sibanda said it was critical to build teamwork among Zimbabweans adding that the same spirit from the Organ would bring all to focus for the development of the country.

Moral Re-armament Zimbabwe co-ordinator Mr Steven Sibale said the organisations were responding to the need for healing the nation."We are grateful that Government has decided to work with us and the ultimate goal is to make sure that there is no violence in Zimbabwe," he said.Mr Sibale said there was, however, need for individuals to begin by healing themselves."There is need for change at the individual level and people should begin to heal themselves, fight against the spirit of retribution," he said.Mr Sibale said the unity demonstrated by ministers in the inclusive Government should also inspire the nation.

ZIMBABWE: Updates from the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Dear Friends,

The issue of Zimbabwe was raised in three ways at the 17th Session of the African Caribbean Pacific – European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) currently underway in Prague, Czech Republic. Over 100 Parliamentarians from across Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific regions and the EU are meeting for this current Session of the JPA which takes place between 4 – 9.04.09:
1. Today 07 April 2009 during question time to the Council,
2. yesterday during the opening session by Glenys Kinnock the Co-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly and
3. later during the day during the plenary question time to the Commission.

The following is the link to the reply given by the Commission:

The following is a link to the press release that was released today with emphasis on food and financial crisis to ensure that the G20 deal delivers for developing countries:

The Brenthurst Foundation has released the 04/2009 discussion paper entitled, ”Scan of Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Literature Discussion Paper”. This paper focuses on steps needed to revive the economy once the political situation returns to normalcy. It is aimed at identifying the most relevant research about the path to economic reconstruction in Zimbabwe. The document can be accessed from the reference publications through the following link:

The Economist issued a press statement regarding the calls to ban trade in Zimbabwean diamonds with fears of human rights violations. They say this will do little for government plans to form joint ventures with international miners. <>

On the same issue Partnership Africa Canada published a report on diamonds in Zimbabwe. The full report can be accessed through the following link:

The report describes the role of diamonds in Zimbabwe economy and their place in the country’s repressive governance. It describes growing evidence of smuggling, militarization of diamond resources and the killings of unarmed diamond diggers by police and armed forces.

MISA-Zimbabwe issued a Communique on 06 April 09 in which they are informing that Zimbabwe’s Information and Communication Technology sector has been ranked at 132 out of 134 countries on the network readiness index list according to the Global Information Technology report of 2008-2009.
Please visit hyperlink below.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Zimbabwe Human Rights Update

From: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

On 1.4.09, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) released an Early Warning Report on Human Rights and Food Related Violations for January 2009. This report was compiled at a time when the Director and two staff members of ZPP were charged with 'recruiting people to undergo training to topple the government'. Under these circumstances, it presents a checklist on how far the Global Political Agreement influenced the level of politically-engineered human rights violations.

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) issued a News Update , 01.4.09, reporting on their continued campaign to engage schools directly on education issues. Schools around Harare were visited in an effort to engage school authorities directly over unreasonable demands on parents. WOZA commends those authorities who took the time to meet. It calls on all parents to take an active role in participating in the running of the schools that their children attend. It can be accessed through the following link:

On 30.3.09 the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) issued the Transitional Barometer which summarizes how the media has covered issues relating to the coalition government and assesses how the media is monitoring adherence to the Global Political Agreement. Data gathered by MMPZ in February exposed the frailty of the inclusive government as evidenced by how some parties have acted against the spirit of the inclusive government.

The latest MMPZ Media Update 2009-11 covering the period 16-22 March 2009. MMPZ express concern about the authorities' failure to establish the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to replace the old Media and Information Commission (MIC) whose legal existence was terminated by amendments to AIPPA. MMPZ note that this has caused confusion over media regulation as MIC continues to exercise illegal control of media activity.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) released a Newsflash of 29.3.09 calling for an end to the current wave of politically motivated farm invasions stating that they are destabilising the agricultural sector. In another ZimRights Newsflash of 31.3.09 a call is made upon the Ministry of Justice and to civil society organisations to work together to restore sanity in the country's prisons. ZimRights observe that “current prison conditions are a travesty to the rights of these prisoners who have been exposed to condition that no human being should”.

Other recent statements / reports on Zimbabwe from civil society organizations about Zimbabwe include the following 5 items:The truly shocking state of Zimbabwean prisons and inhumane conditions endured by prisoners is highlighted in an item dated 30.3.09 on the Sokwanele web site. The work of our member organization Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO) is highlighted in this disturbing piece which contains graphic photographs and descriptions of conditions inside Zimbabwean prisons. It can be accessed via the following web link

Veritas issued the Peace Watch of 31.3.09 with updates on political abductees and the persistence by the state to charge peace workers from Jestina Mukoko and Broderick Takawira of our member organization Zimbabwe Peace Project.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition issued a ‘Weather Report’ dated 30.3.09 noting the uncertainty in the political climate evidenced by the continued farm invasions. In the same report, the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) reports on rising incidents of farm disturbances across the country which they assert have affected over 1, 5000 families during recent incidents.
Given this uncertain political climate, we would like to remind readers about the minimum demands adopted by participants at a Transitional Workshop hosted by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and many civil society partner organizations in Harare on 9-10.09.08. These can be found on our web site via the following link