n Africa Insight - Between civil rights and property rights
Debating the selective application of human rights in Zimbabwe

Volume 38, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The violation of human rights has become one of the defining characteristics of the Zimbabwe crisis. This article highlights some of the main elements of the human rights debate in Zimbabwe between 2000 and 2008. However, while civil and political rights are well articulated in Zimbabwe's human rights debate, property and social rights issues are largely ignored. What is framed as political contestation today is a culmination of abuses of human rights, including political, civil, social and economic rights. Using a historical analysis, this article points out that there has been selective amnesia in Zimbabwe's human rights discourse, and argues for the equal treatment of civil and political rights on one hand, and economic and social rights on the other.

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