Sixteen Community Based Organizations (CBOs) from across the country representing various ethnic, linguistic and geographic minority communities have endorsed a policy submission paper calling on the government of Zimbabwe to enact an inclusive and human rights based development-induced evictions and displacements Compensation and Relocation Framework.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) has since 2021 been coordinating conversations and research amongst the various communities of Zimbabwe that are affected by development-induced evictions/displacements (DiEDs). The organization then convened a National Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities Convening Indaba which was a solidarity platform for the various Zimbabwean communities affected by DiEDs.
The Convening Indaba was also attended by representatives from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), and Bulawayo Central Member of Parliament Hon. Nicola Watson. These duties bearers received the submission paper.
The Submission Paper recommended that the government enact an inclusive and human rights based approach Compensation and Relocations Framework to guide the compensation of development-induced evictions and displacements. It recommended that the framework must adhere to the following standards:
- In the development of the Compensation and Relocations Framework, the government take into consideration and also be guided by the provisions of:
a) The United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement;
b) The United Nations Principles on housing and property restitution for refugees and displaced persons (Pinheiro Principles)
c) The African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (The Kampala Convention); and
d) and the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy
2. The Zimbabwe Compensation and Relocation Framework be developed to conform to the national and international recognized standards and principles of:
- Free, Prior and Informed Consent;
- Do No Harm;
- Gender equity and equality;
- Best interests of the child;
- Conflict sensitivity;
- Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
- Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas;
- Right to Development;
- Stakeholder inclusivity and participation
3. The Compensation and Relocation Framework should critically provide for the compensation of the following factors; among the many factors it should consider:
a) Physical developments effected on the land;
b) Land preparation, clearance and maintenance (including fertilization);
c) Cultural developments, assets and rituals related to the establishment of new homes;
d) Exhumation and reburials of the dead relatives and family members in accordance with family customs;
e) Re-establishment and re-installation of individual and community cultural and religious symbols, shrines and symbols, where such existing ones will not be relocated;
f) Loss of income, livelihoods and resilience mechanisms;
g) Psychological and emotional trauma, stress and anxiety due to attachment to land and social, cultural, economic and political rights;
h) Change of civil documentation and other civil rights registrations such as voter registration; livestock registration, school enrolments, medical access, etc.