Death toll from riots rises to 12

HARARE - As normalcy slowly returns to Zimbabwe after days of tensions between protesters and security forces following this week’s deadly riots — human rights groups yesterday said the death toll from the clashes has risen to 12 — and that 78 people were shot during the protests.

This comes as doctors on Thursday revealed that they had performed 16 life-saving surgeries on protesters who were shot during the disturbances which were triggered by government’s sharp increases of fuel prices.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) said it had recorded at least 844 human rights violations during the shutdown and flagged massive human rights violations which it said led to deaths of protesters and destruction of properties.

“Consolidated statistics so far reveal the following violations: killings (at least 12), injuries from gunshots (at least 78), assault, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment including dog bites (at least 242), destruction of property including vandalism and looting (at least 46), arbitrary arrests and detentions (466) displacements (under verification),” the Forum said in its provisional statement on the protests.

“Of concern is the denial of bail, the fast tracking of trials without providing the arrested an opportunity to adequately prepare for their defence. The Forum 
condemns the incidences of incommunicado detentions at military establishments and other illegal places of detention,” the Forum said further.

It alleged that it had received reports of armed security personnel breaking into private homes of citizens, indiscriminately torturing occupants including children as young as nine.

“Residents also reported that in the process, the armed security personnel looted groceries and money from their victims. The Forum is concerned that the police are working in common purpose with the army and Zanu PF youth militia in perpetrating these violations,” it added.

The Forum said invasion of privacy incidences were rampant in areas such as Mabvuku, Glen Norah, Highfield, Kuwadzana, Chitungwiza, Hatcliffe, 
Domboshawa, Budiriro, Warren Park and Chinhoyi.

The Forum said it was preparing a comprehensive report on the alleged violations by security forces which would be made public soon.

On Thursday, in a comprehensive report lifting the lid on the violence which occurred around the country during this week’s stay-away called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade of Unions (ZCTU), the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) revealed gory details of the brutality meted out to people by security forces.

“The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights wishes to share with stakeholders critical information on the unfolding human rights crisis in Zimbabwe following the outbreak of violent protests across the country and the ensuing disproportionate response by the State apparatus.

“To date ZADHR network of doctors across the country both in the public and private sector have attended to a total of 172 cases ... 68 cases were gunshot wounds with the affected individuals sustaining severe injuries which required urgent surgery in most cases.

“The remainder of the cases ranged from assaults with sharp objects, booted feet, batons, sjamboks and tarmac abrasions,” the organisation said.

“ZADHR is also deeply worried by cases of dog bites following the alleged unleashing of police dogs on those in police custody in Kadoma.

“Three such cases have been documented. This constitutes a serious violation of human rights as the State is supposed to guarantee the protection of those in police custody,” it added.

This came after thousands of fed-up citizens heeded calls by the ZCTU to stay away from work in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s unpopular decision to sharply hike the prices of fuel — triggering riots in the process and the subsequent mayhem which was witnessed mainly in Harare and Bulawayo this week.

The government has also since been accused of launching a vicious crackdown against the opposition, pro-democracy groups and the ZCTU leadership following the disturbances.

Comments (6)

The number is larger than that.....please check correct sources , its over 100 deaths.

Mliswa Urikumama.... - 19 January 2019

And so it begins.... The true patriots are those killed or brutalized by the security forces whose fundamental purpose should be to protect the citizens of Zimbabwe. Once again the acts of 'terror' by the current administration reveal quite plainly that the primary objective of the various security branches is to simply shore up an illegitimate, degraded and corrupt regime. For too long have Zimbabweans had to endure this 'faux democracy' which is in truth nothing more than a State controlled by organized crime. It would be completely understandable if large segments of the population took up arms to protect themselves from and to confront the criminal administration pretending to be a government of the people. The first duty of a truly elected government is to protect it's citizens not murder and assault them in their homes. 'Zimbabwe is open for revolution!'

dr dre - 19 January 2019

@ Dr Dre, And in your view the govt should fold it's arms while rioters destroy property, coerce unwilling people to join their riots and chase away teachers leaving primary school kids on their own. You seem to have warped morals due to your fixation with this regime change agenda.

willo - 19 January 2019

Warped? Yes I guess it is if security agents and law enforcement can simply enter innocent law abiding citizens homes, and beat the individuals including children to simply intimidate and in some cases steal then I guess it is. How are the recent actions of the state security the correct way to control public disorder in a civilized society? If these so called public protectors really want to deal with looting and road blocks there is a professional way to manage the situation. Oh and why take down the internet? Surely the law abiding citizens that support their police would use their smart phones to record the individuals and forward it to the law enforcement. I'll tell you what happened. The administration is immensely upset with Zimbabwean people daring to defy their so called 'reform agenda' LMFAO and have used the 3 day stray away to go in and remind them of the consequences of their actions even if the majority are simply staying at home. The events are simple enough to engineer - get a few zanu guys to act as so called looters and rioters which then provides the perfect excuse to mobilise the security forces. Even better if you can not only kill a few but assault, threaten, rob at the same time. The only reason for the internet being taken down is an attempt to prevent people from recording such activities and then enabling the wider world to see exactly 'once again' how the Zim crime syndicate retains control. Regime change is the minimum the real Zimbabwean people deserve.

dr dre - 20 January 2019

Peace loving Zimbabweans lets be frank to one another the call for demonstrations ZCTU was their constitutional right but like in all cases they fail to control the demonstrators like in other civilized nations. there is no way looting was going to stop without the intervention of security agencies. those who called for the strike were no way to be seen and could not stop the mayhem. ZADHR should stop exaggerating numbers of death and injuries. Police in residential arears are just following up on Looters and taking them to account of their actions, if you had your shop vandalised and looted you wouldn't talk like that. As it is now some shop owners will never recover these people have rights as well. where is the link between fuel hike and looting an ox drown plough and many other incidences. lets call as spade a spade.

Mafirakureva - 20 January 2019

It's very simple - the police only need to be stationed where the shops are and be on alert prior to any looting activity. It's easy enough if the objective is to truly prevent such events occurring. However if the desired effect is to permit zpf thugs and half-wits to run amok then turn a blind eye until the mayhem is over. Then using the organized mayhem as cover go in and kill, abuse, rob the mdc supporting areas. It ain't rocket science For Ed /Chiwenga see RGM. Same sh*t different day.

dr dre - 20 January 2019

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