II. Recommendations

To the Future Government of Zimbabwe

  • End impunity for election-related political violence. Set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate serious rights abuses by state security forces and others that occurred since the March 29 elections and present recommendations on how best to ensure justice and accountability.
  • Restore judicial independence. Create an independent and impartial judicial commission to investigate infringements of judicial independence and provide public recommendations for judicial reform. Examine in particular reforms that prevent the distribution of unlawful payments or gifts to judges.
  • Enforce the principle of equality under law. Convene an independent body to examine past practices of the Office of the Prosecutor to devise measures to ensure that the office operates in a non-partisan fashion. Revise or abrogate section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which permits prosecutorial appeals of bail rulings, to limit the possibility of abuse.
  • End partisanship in the police force. Create a special body under the Office of the Prosecutor to impartially investigate allegations of human rights abuses by members of the police force. Discipline, dismiss or prosecute, as appropriate and in accordance with due process standards, those police personnel responsible for abuse. Put the police under a new, non-partisan and professional leadership, itself accountable to an independent supervisory board.
  • Improve respect for human rights by government officials at all levels. Seek international assistance to provide appropriate training and education to members of the police and other state agencies on human rights. All training should be consistent with international human rights standards, such as the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

To the Chief Justice

  • Defend judges against political pressure. Adopt measures to promote adherence by government officials to the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.
  • Take appropriate steps to promote adherence by judges and judicial officers to the UN Basic Principles.

To the Office of the Attorney General

  • Re-commit to professional and impartial discharge of duties; conduct an independent and comprehensive audit of prosecutors, focusing on ethical conduct and respect for due process.
  • Ensure that policies and practices do not violate the principle of presumption of innocence and other international due process and fair trial standards.
  • Promote adherence by government officials to the UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors.

To the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police

  • Publicly condemn and bring an end to partisanship by police officers, including by ending selective application of the law and targeted harassment of opponents of ZANU-PF. Take appropriate disciplinary action against those who act improperly.
  • Fully and impartially investigate and arrest those responsible for acts of politically motivated violence following the March 29 elections.
  • Take all appropriate steps to ensure that the police respect court orders concerning the rights of persons arrested and detained.

To the Southern African Development Community and the African Union

  • Urgently convene an extraordinary summit to discuss and help resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.
  • Urgently review the effectiveness of the SADC mediation initiative. Ensure that it is led and staffed so as to lend it maximum effectiveness and that it has specific benchmarks and a timeline for resolving the Zimbabwe crisis.
  • Facilitate greater involvement in the mediation process by the AU and the UN, in order to bring additional expertise to bear on problems in Zimbabwe.
  • Call upon the new government of Zimbabwe to promptly adopt measures to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law.
  • Insist upon full accountability for the perpetrators of human rights abuses, including prosecutions, and press for appropriate remedies to victims of abuses.

To International Donors (including the US, UK and other EU members, etc.)

  • Withhold non-humanitarian development aid to Zimbabwe in the absence of clear progress in promoting respect for human rights, including reforms of key government institutions and agencies; set specific benchmarks and closely monitor progress.
  • Maintain targeted travel sanctions and asset freezes against ZANU-PF and its leadership until it meets specific human rights and good governance benchmarks.
  • Carefully provide effective support for fundamental reforms to the criminal justice system, including strengthening judicial independence, providing appropriate rights-relevant training for the police, and improving the administration and financial auditing of justice institutions.