State atrocities during shutdown: Women demand justice

By Tendai Guvamombe

Justice for Women Zimbabwe (JWZ), Female Prisoners Support Trust and Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence has expressed concern and anguish over he gross human rights violations by the Zimbabwe government and state security agents during the recent shutdown protests.

JWZ Director Coezett Chirinda revealed this at a press conference held yesterday in the Capital where she alleged that during the January 2019 national shutdown Zimbabwean security forces were deployed to undertake a nationwide brutal crackdown on all citizens.

“For the State to then respond by means of a full scale operation was irresponsible as it was irrational. Further it is saddening that since August 1 shootings, it has become government policy to use military force on citizens airing out genuine grievances,” she said.

The JWZ director further reiterated that women were prone to attack in the course of State sanctioned orgies of violence and lawlessness which saw close to 100 women including young girls arbitrarily arrested and brutally tortured countrywide.

“It is apparent that women are soft targets in the course of these state sanctioned orgies of violence and lawlessness. Close to 100 women were arbitrarily arrested and brutally tortured countrywide including young girls,” she added.

According to Justice for Women Zimbabwe (JWZ) there are attempts by some people to distort the narrative and discredit victims of sexual assault which they are determined to fight to the end.

“It is also sad to note that there are people who want to distort the narrative and discredit the victims of sexual assault but we assure those responsible that the voices of women are going to shake the walls of this nation and they are going to be heard.”

Meanwhile the Police Spokesperson Commissioner Charity Charamba recently indicated that only one case of sexual abuse has been recorded and prior to this Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon Ziyambi criticised the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) report alleging that it fell short of standard practice.