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Last Updated: 25 November 2013

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Zimbabwe is responsible for a significant number of landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors who are in need. Zimbabwe has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2012

1,585 mine/ERW casualties

Casualties in 2012

23 (2011: 3)

2012 casualties by outcome

12 killed; 11 injured (2011: 1 killed; 2 injured)

2012 casualties by device type

1 antipersonnel mine; 1 undefined mine; 15 ERW; 6 unknown

In 2012, the Zimbabwe Mine Action Center (ZIMAC) reported 23 new civilian casualties in Zimbabwe. The majority of casualties (15) occurred in the Musengezi to Rwenya River Minefield in Mashonaland, Central and East provinces. Nearly all were attributed to ERW; mines caused only two casualties. Children were 73% of all casualties for which the age was known (16 of 22), and 13 of these were boys.[1]

This represents a significant increase over the three casualties reported in 2011 (all boys: two killed by an ERW and one injured by an antipersonnel mine)[2] and the single ERW casualty reported in 2010.[3] This increase may be due to improved reporting of casualties rather than an actual increase in the number of casualties occurring in 2011 as compared with 2012. The ICRC supported ZIMAC with installation of and training in the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) in 2012.[4] ZIMAC has stated for many years that incidents in remote areas are underreported.[5]

Since 1980, 1,585 casualties have been reported by ZIMAC. There are an estimated 1,300 survivors.[6]

Victim Assistance

There were at least 1,313 survivors in Zimbabwe by the end of 2012.

There is no victim assistance coordination; disability issues are coordinated by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare.[7]

In 2012, the ICRC supported the National Society in Zimbabwe to conduct first aid training sessions for its action teams deployed in 26 districts.[8] The ICRC continued support through the Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) for on-site training, as well as advanced training in Addis Ababa for prosthetics and orthotics technicians.[9] ICRC SFD assistance to the Bulawayo Rehabilitation Center was phased out by the end of 2012, as planned. The Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare secured funding from the Ministry of Health to procure materials and components in a first step toward financial autonomy, as expected as part of the ICRC SFD phase out.[10]

Discrimination by educational institutions towards children with disabilities and the lack of government resources devoted to training and education severely hampered the ability of persons with disabilities to compete for scarce jobs.[11]

Legislation prohibited discrimination against persons with disabilities but was not widely known or implemented by government institutions, and discrimination remained prevalent. The law stipulated that government buildings be accessible to persons with disabilities, but implementation was slow.[12]

As of September 2013, Zimbabwe had not signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012), Form J, December 2012.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form J, December 2011.

[3] Interview with Col. Mkhululi Bhika Ncube, Director, ZIMAC, in Geneva, 24 June 2011. The same incident was identified by HALO Trust as having been caused by an antipersonnel mine. Email from Tom Dibb, HALO, 25 November 2010.

[4] Statement of Zimbabwe to the Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 28 May, 2013.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for calendar years 2010, 2011, 2012), Form J.

[6] Interview with Col. Ncube, ZIMAC, in Geneva, 24 June 2011; ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada: October 2009), www.the-monitor.org; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for calendar years 2010, 2011, 2012), Form J.

[7] Zimbabwe Government online, “Mission Statement,” www.zim.gov.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=129, accessed 28 August 2012.

[8] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012 (Volume I),” Geneva, May 2013, p. 206.

[9] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, pp. 11–12.

[10],Ibid., pp. 13, 20.

[11] United States Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Zimbabwe,” Washington, DC, 19 April 2013.

[12] Ibid.