Businessman helps victims of brutal Zim crackdown

HARARE - Businessman Frank Buyanga has visited the wounded victims of Zimbabwe’s deadly fuel riots, which have left 12 people dead and hundreds of others injured, taking some to hospital for medical care.

This comes after his African Medallion Group (AMG) has established a humanitarian department to help victims of Zimbabwe’s deadly fuel riots, and said he will do all he can to assist in getting the wounded treatment and also do his part to cover the costs.

"Last week, we visited some of the victims in Zimbabwe, among the people we met included the woman who was shot in the leg, Patricia Kamuriwo, and who had to be carried in a wheelbarrow to get medical help. In addition, Mr Felix Mafondokoto who was featured in the British Sky News report on Zimbabwe, was another victim whom we took to a private clinic, West End, for treatment and is now recovering at home with his loved ones," Buyanga said.

"We were deeply saddened by the violence that took place in our beloved nation of Zimbabwe."

Across the country, the protests left charred car frames and toll gates, shattered shop windows and looted supermarkets and vandalized police stations — as well as a presidency in crisis.

What began as a grassroots rebellion against a 150 percent hike in fuel and the high cost of living morphed into something more perilous for President Emmerson Mnangagwa - an assault on his presidency and institutions.

The protests spurred a brutal crackdown with military and police appearing to have targeted officials and supporters of mainstream opposition parties, as well as union officials and high-profile civil society activists.

At least 12 people were killed and 78 treated for gunshot wounds, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, which recorded more than 240 incidents of assault and torture. About 1 000 people have been arrested and remain in custody, including five opposition MPs.

Buyanga hailed President Mnangagwa for his clarion call for “national dialogue” and his promise for a probe into the widespread violence by security forces in recent days, after cutting short his overseas trip the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"Additionally, we would like to extend our thankfulness to the President of Zimbabwe, ...Mnangagwa, who has promised justice for the victims of violence," Buyanga said.

The businessman's South African-based gold trader’s sister organisation, Hamilton Foundation, has previously made similar interventions by offering transport for thousands of regional folks displaced by xenophobic attacks in 2015.

In the xenophobia attacks, four people died during a week of looting of foreign-owned shops and their violence in Soweto and other areas of Johannesburg as some South Africans accused immigrants of taking jobs and opportunities away from them. It is estimated that as many as 3 million Zimbabweans are living in South Africa, many as illegal immigrants.

Under his Rand 500 000 philanthropic act and gesture to thousands of foreign nationals affected by the barbaric attacks in South Africa four years ago, Buyanga’s Hamilton worked with Gift of the Givers in that mission.

Around the same time, the flamboyant businessman also rallied his compatriots and fellow Africans to “know their rights by acquainting themselves with international law, and so that they do not suffer the indignity of constant harassment and resentment, if not hate-linked ill-treatment”.

Buyanga said his assistance to the fuel protests victims was one of the many interventions he has unfurled to help his fellow African folk.

"This is just but one of our humanitarian efforts to build a better Africa. We may not always be politically correct in our approach but our ideals remain focused on helping develop the country and fellow countrymen," the maverick businessman said.

"In 2015, through our partner establishment, we helped our people and other African brothers and sisters from Mozambique, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo that had come under siege during the well-publicized xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

"Our announcement last week was a non-political humanitarian programme to help victims of violence. This is a helping hand, not a begging hand and it is extended as means to uplift Africa.

"We remain committed to assisting those who approach us for humanitarian assistance."

He also thanked everyone for the "tremendous outpouring of help, assistance and kindness that was shown to the people of Zimbabwe."

"Your support and effort are truly appreciated," he said.

Recently, Buyanga also set tongues wagging with an audacious Rand 500 million facility to help Mnangagwa’s troubled administration to import basic commodities, including sugar, maize meal, medicines and fuel, but the Zimbabwean authorities have been dilly-dallying on the offer.

And as the Harare administration responded with disproportionate force to last week’s protests, global bodies such as the United Nations have condemned the clampdown and Zimbabweans in SA have also called on the African National Congress to help break the impasse.

Comments (3)

How must is 500000 rands in pounds ?...28600 quid. And 500Mn rands ? , £28Mn...... very interesting

Zanu Monkey... - 1 February 2019

That sad part....another ZANU Paper.

Rotten row... - 26 February 2019

Wordpress is hackable , No ?...it does not take a day.

WP vulnerabilities - 26 February 2019

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