ERC letter triggers ZHRC response on measures to curb political violence

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), with a mandate to ensure upholding of human rights in Zimbabwe, has responded to an engagement letter by the Election Resource Centre (ERC) on political violence and intimidation during elections. The policy engagement letter, a novel engagement and advocacy technique, sought to remind and encourage the commission to reconsider its position on working with the police and implementing Section 133J of the Electoral Act. The Section mandates the commission to establish a Special Investigative Committee (SIC) for election related violence and intimidation in close collaboration with the Zimbabwe Republic Police ad political party representatives. The ZHRC responded that they acknowledge the law but maintain their reservation on the shortcomings of the law, which they claim, force them to work with possible perpetrators and affect their independence. The Commission argued for a relook of the law to ensure its partiality and practical implementation but committed to continue to execute their mandate on election related human rights violations in close collaboration with the ERC.