Rights doctors stand by post-election report

HARARE - Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has said it stands by the contents of its report that gives details of gunshot injuries sustained by 11 people when the army used live ammunition to clear the city centre of Harare as a correct, unbiased and first-hand view of the information which medics gathered during the August 1 army shootings.

The rights doctors said in the damning report, A New Era or Error, that “state agents” pressured medical officials to falsify diagnoses to cover up violence by security services and the army after the historic July 30 elections was absolutely true and beyond reproach.

In a report, ZADHR alleges government pathologists at public hospitals were forced to describe gunshot injuries as stab wounds.

Overson Mugwisi, a military spokesperson, said the allegations were false and “should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve”.

Energy Mutodi, the deputy minister of Information, said a doctor “cannot purport to tell who unleashed the arrow that injured a patient”.

But ZADHR president Fortune Nyamande told the Daily News that the report was gathered on the basis of medical narrations from patients as opposed to a doctored political agenda as alleged by the army spokesperson.

“To dismiss the report as pedestrian is in itself peddling of a purely pedestrian view in a technical matter.

“Doctors get much of their diagnosis from the history narrated by the patient and indeed the patients narrated to us that they were shot, where they were shot and who they suspected shot them.

“It is up to other experts to determine who shot them and the report does not conclude on who shot the victims,” Nyamande said.

The doctors alleged that they had recorded 72 politically-motivated cases out of 102 cases registered in their records.

The report contained the post-election violence medical compilations and individual narrations of patients attended by ZADHR from August 2018 to September 2018, with patients citing alleged perpetrators as soldiers.

Nyamande purported that ZADHR has irrefutable evidence corroborated by forensic pathologists, psychological assessments and medical affidavits that attest to the gruelling experiences the victims went through.

“Judging from those responses it is unclear whether those critiquing the report have even read the report.

“For example, our report does not focus on the August 1, shootings only, but the defined post-election period and therefore covers other unearthed cases of displacements, torture and human rights violations.”

A  Commission of Inquiry probing the August killings has heard testimonies from senior commanders who denied military personnel were responsible for the deaths on August 1.

Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Phillip Valerio Sibanda claimed that soldiers that were deployed on August 1 did not kill the unarmed civilians.

Nyamande, however, said ZADHR submitted evidence to the Commission of Inquiry and the report was in no way undermining the commission as claimed by other critics.

“ZADHR has submitted its evidence to the commission and some of the victims who have testified at the commission have been covered also in the case reports.

“ZADHR, however, respects but does not accept those varying opinions on its report,” he said.

Comments (2)

ZADHR is a foreign-sponsored outfit with political objectives. Primarily, they are pro-MDC and are anti-ZANU PF. This is a position dictated by their sponsors and that's how they make their money. One would wonder why a report detailing events from Aug 01, 2017 was only released more than a year later. It's a clear attempt to coincide it with the Comission's inquiry so as to tarnish the Zim military and absolve MDC thuggery. Deplorable!

Buns Tinobvinex - 23 November 2018

Tinobvinex you must be ashamed of yourself forensic is forensic it doesn't change because of favouritism you only look one side why where the military intelligence want the those same foreign sponsors doctors to change the outcome of the forensic result of bullets wounds as stabbed wounds you are one of those who are brainwashed by zanu things which so clear but you still want to defend shame on you

Innocent - 24 November 2018

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