Mapping post-election violence in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe democracy and human rights advocacy group Sokwanele created this Google maps hack to visualize first-hand news reports of election-related human rights violations in the embattled Southern African nation. (more at this cheesebikini post. Thanks, Sean savage)

Update: Sean clarifies:

It's important to note, however, that this service doesn't illustrate *first-hand* violence reports, as you state in the boingboing post... It shows incidents reported in the media. As the map site stipulates:

"The breaches shown on this map represent a small sample of those gathered during our Zimbabwe Election Watch (ZEW) project, which set out to monitor the Zimbabwean government's compliance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

The breaches identified under ZEW are based on information derived from media sources. It is very important that the map is viewed with this in mind.

Zimbabwe has a highly restricted media environment, and fuel shortages make remote rural areas inaccessible to journalists who do manage to circumvent the legislation and report regardless. This means that urban areas have a greater representation on the map. Blank areas on the map do not indicate 'uneventful' areas; they are more likely to represent stories we are unable to tell and incidents that have not been reported.

The map aims to give an impression of the scale and range of challenges facing Zimbabweans as we head towards the March 29th elections. Even though this is based on a small sample of information we have logged since July 2007, it clearly shows that conditions in the country are not conducive for a free and fair democractic elections."


  1. Are we going to get a map like that for the 2008 elections in the USA? We’re going to need it.

    The West can’t afford to take a “my shit don’t stink” attitude toward corruption of democracy. It’s here too.

  2. Just when I thought all your 4/1 posts were going to have large headphones in them, you have to be serious.

    But this _is_ serious, and I am glad that you are one of the folks paying attention, and bringing it to our attention. If there were no BoingBoing and BBC I would think that the most important thing on April Fools’ Day was figuring out how to make all my office phones ring at once.

  3. Ummm, the map clip you’re featuring with this story is largely of Zambia, not Zimbabwe! Zim is South of the river — which would be a better choice to illustrate this story.

  4. Just wanted to say this is of PRE-Election violence.

    As far as I know there isnt’t a mashup of post election violence yet. If anyone wants to help them, I am sure they would be happy. A system was developed for Kenya and you could probably develop it, host on a server in Joburg so phonecalls to it aren’t to expensive, and even donate to pay for its hosting and reimburse people for telephone calls.

    In Africa it is relatively simple to pay for airtime for someone else and they will know how to do it.

    Any further information you need, I would be happy to point you in the right direction.

    The Kenyan mashup is here.

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