Impunity and lack of accountability have remained a challenge in Zimbabwe since independence. The government has failed to ensure justice for victims of human rights violations perpetrated by ZANU-PF. The state security organs committed widespread, systematic abuses such as torture and beatings leading to the killing of unarmed civilians in the 1980s in Matabeleland and Midlands, and the death and displacement of opposition supporters in election-related violence in 2008. The perpetrators have not been held accountable, including the former President Mugabe, who was fond of reiterating propaganda, which perpetuated violence among communities. The ruling party ZANU-PF has used systemic violence by intimidating masses to ensure that they vote in their favour. The research analysed the crimes committed by Zimbabwe authorities and ZANU-PF militia during the 2008 election and beyond.
Chapter one covers the background of the research and also gives a general introduction to the crimes committed against humanity.
Chapter two looks at how the ruling party has manipulated and politicised different institutions using some as platforms for a political campaign. It also explains that there is no independence in the judiciary system. The polarised system has remained in favour of ZANU-PF and the perpetrators have continued to walk scot-free, from the elite to ordinary citizens.
Chapter three addresses the degeneration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. It explains how the law enforcing agents have been complicit in the human rights violations. Furthermore, it discusses the impunity that prevails in the state organs and how they exercise their power to achieve the agenda of the ruling party.
Chapter four discusses the Constitution of Zimbabwe and her electoral law, the principles of free and fair election in those instruments. Included in this chapter, are important Court cases from Zimbabwe where judges pronounced themselves on the freeness and fairness of elections.
Chapter five outlines the international and regional instruments on the right to free and fair elections. It further analyses the right to free and fair trial and how protocols are being violated by Zimbabwe as a state. It also states how the role of elections observers have been undermined by the state.
Chapter six is the conclusion of the research and articulates how the state has violated the guiding principles to ensure a free and fair election.
Chapter seven elaborates on the key findings and gives recommendations to ensure a free and fair election prevails in Zimbabwe.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2018.