In Zimbabwe, 770 victims of organised violence and torture have been supported to file legal cases against the perpetrators of human rights abuse. As a result, the impunity of perpetrators has been challenged, victims of torture have been rehabilitated and displaced families have been re‐united.
PDF files require Adobe Reader to view
Key elements of context
- Thousands of human rights violations have been committed in Zimbabwe since the violent land invasions of 1999 that marked the launch of the chaotic land reform programme. Subsequent general elections have also been marred by conflict with the 2008 elections especially violent.
- Selective application of the law is rampant in Zimbabwe. Police have been implicated in many cases of torture. Although officers can in theory be prosecuted for criminal conduct the responsibility for investigating the cases lies with the police themselves. The courts are reluctant to prosecute. The processes of law enforcement and justice are being manipulated to in effect grant offenders within the system impunity from prosecution.
- Most victims have suffered in silence and isolation due to a lack of awareness of human rights entitlements and of the redress mechanisms available. The complicated procedures and the prohibitive costs of litigation the justice system deter victims from bringing cases.