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Last Updated: 20 January 2015

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 2013

1,593 mine/ERW casualties

Casualties in 2013

8 (2012: 23)

2013 casualties by outcome

2 killed; 6 injured (2012: 12 killed; 11 injured)

2013 casualties by device type

2 Antipersonnel mine; 6 ERW


For 2013, the Zimbabwe Mine Action Center (ZIMAC) reported eight mine/ERW casualties. One was a child, one a woman, and one casualty was a deminer.[1] The 2013 casualty total represented a decrease from the 23 new civilian casualties recorded in Zimbabwe in 2012. In 2013, as in 2012, mines caused only two casualties.[2] However, only three casualties were reported in 2011[3] and also three in 2010.[4] ZIMAC has stated for many years that incidents in remote areas are underreported.[5]

Since 1980, 1,593 casualties have been reported by ZIMAC.[6]

Victim Assistance

There were at least 1,321 mine/ERW survivors in Zimbabwe by the end of 2013. In 2013 the ICRC also reported that 2,000 people have been injured by mines on the Zimbabwean side of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.[7]

It was reported that victim assistance was not well coordinated. There was a need to establish a committee to integrate the functions of the various bodies with responsibilities relevant for survivors and to develop a broad agenda to address victim assistance. Disability issues are coordinated by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, while emergency assistance is led by the Victim Friendly Unit. Responsibility for surveying survivors needs and other assistance to mine/ERW survivors is centralized through the national mine action centre ZIMAC.[8]

The ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) continued providing support to the Parirenyatwa group of hospitals in 2013; of 149 prostheses manufactured, 33 were for mine survivors. An SFD physiotherapist and ortho-prosthetist also made a support visit. At the end of 2013 the SFD ended support to the Parirenyatwa groups, as expected, as part of the ICRC SFD phase out, finding that they had reached a satisfactory level of autonomy.[9] ICRC SFD assistance to the Bulawayo Rehabilitation Center had been phased out by the end of 2012, as planned.[10]

Discrimination by educational institutions toward 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]

Zimbabwe ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 23 September 2013.


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J, December 2013.

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

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

[4] 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.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for calendar years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), 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 and 2013), Form J.

[8] Presentation by Zimbabwe, “ICRC-AU Workshop to Advance the Implementation of Victim Assistance Obligations Arising from Various Weapons Treaties,” Addis Ababa, 6 March 2014.

[9] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 19.

[10] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, pp. 13, 20.

[11] United States Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Zimbabwe,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014.

[12] Ibid.