Ravaging soldiers raise more Zim ire

Rights groups have challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to immediately send the country’s soldiers back to their barracks, amid heart-rending claims of continuing savage beatings and harassment of innocent civilians.

This comes as authorities are readying for a potential second wave of riots, which the government claims are being sponsored by the opposition and “hostile” Western governments.

Rights groups and the country’s main opposition said it was unacceptable that soldiers continued to assault and harass Zimbabweans going about their normal business.

MDC party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the deputy mayor of Chitungwiza had been abducted on Sunday, before being dumped at Makoni Police Station — amid further reports of beatings of senior opposition officials in the sprawling township.

“It’s an onslaught on unarmed civilians, who are being taken from their homes. It’s so unreal that one wishes it was a nightmare.

“It’s like God has forsaken Zimbabwe and … the devil is now in charge,” a pained Mafume told the Daily News.

At the same time, human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart also posted on social media a chilling video of armed soldiers beating women while their children watched.

“Military atrocities are continuing in Zimbabwe every day. World, why are you quiet?” Coltart said on his Twitter handle.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said it was worried by the continued presence of soldiers in high density suburbs despite assurances by the government that they would be withdrawn.

“We are concerned by the presence of the army in most high density suburbs ... the Constitution must be observed and the army should return to the barracks,” its executive director Blessing Gorejena said.

Meanwhile, the Matabeleland Collective — a civic grouping comprising 66 organisations — has accused the government of aiding and abetting human rights violations in the country by not withdrawing soldiers from high density suburbs.

“The government must withdraw the army as a matter of urgency. Why use the army when the police are there? The police should be the ones dealing with civilians, not the army.

“We also need proper procedures for those arrested, with their human rights being observed,” Dumisani Nkomo, spokesperson of the grouping said.

Last week, the Matabeleland Collective also alleged that at least 1 000 people had been tortured by security forces in a vicious clampdown against dissent in the country’s second city.

An estimated 620 people had also been arrested in Bulawayo during the crackdown against protesters, who heeded a three-day stay-away organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) a fortnight ago.

At least 12 people were killed and hundreds others seriously injured when angry demonstrators clashed with security forces during protests over the recent steep fuel price hikes.

    Comments (16)

    Has anyone considered that with the attacks and destruction of property, if it was not for the intervention of the army what could have been the end result? The majority of citizens are being used by those who want to effect regime change to rise against government. The country's enemies are taking advantage of the current problems to psych up and whip people's emotions so that they would join in destroying the country. I think the armed forces should maintain their presence in the streets and residential arrears so that these hooligans are kept under control

    Phyto Andro - 5 February 2019

    These right groups are a big problem and must be ban all of them.They are full of sheet.Ed ndiya baba and every tome and dike must have known that from november 2017.But these nonsence right groups were talking sheet from the day 1.Turnishing the name of our beloved country and so forth.Mugabe was the man full of sheet and selective love as he was good at.Ed for the second republic was suppose to to be given a chance as he embrace everyone which was a good starting point for the nation. chamisa nesauti muhomwe ne zvima right ngos messing the image of our country.Madofo matinetsa.You dream kuti masodya obvisa mugabe(risking their lives wopa chamisa with such a period of time less tham 1 year.Murimboko dzevanhu muchafa nenhamo hamusatiba. Let the soldiers protect their efforts for the work for nov 2017.Pfungwa hapana.....Lelax and let the Govenment leads you not you leading the Government.kuoma musoro nemaright groups iwayo muchatambure rambai muchipiksa hurumende itai.

    dofo - 5 February 2019

    @phyto you are a fool of fools. A multiplied idiot to be honest. How can you defend property more than human life? You are a Zanu fake profiler here just sent to counter real comments from concerned Zimbabweans. Get a life

    Moe Syszlack - 5 February 2019

    A 'pained' mafume - I liked that - how did the journalist determine the 'pain' Zimbabwe is a joke for real

    willo - 5 February 2019

    As long as there is threat of violence, the army should stay on the streets! Those so-called rights groups can go hang! My family and I wont be harmed by the army because we are not violent protesters or looters. Why should we fear the army!?

    Mhofu Chaiyo - 5 February 2019

    Mr Mafume should not bring God into this! Those who live by the sword will die by the sword! Those who cause violence will get violence! It is as simple as that! I wish many more criminals to have broken limbs so that they will never participate in violent protests again. If it is a stay away, then people stay away from everything - work and looting! If there will be a shutdown, those who will be enforcing the shutdown should be beaten up severely by the police and army. People should do things voluntarily, not forced to participate in something they do not subscribe to.

    Mhofu Chaiyo - 5 February 2019

    Jacob Mafume and David Coltart should simply participate in the violent protests and get beaten up by the army! Sadly, they incite others and they don't take part! Poor cowards. Good for nothing so-called democrats.

    Mhofu Chaiyo - 5 February 2019

    A so called Deputy Mayor who leads marauding mobs that burn and pillage government property is not fit to hold office; he deserves to be in a Zimbabwean jail. The idea that ZNA soldiers are just going about beating up people minding their own business is a myth perpetrated by the architects of violence. HEAVILY ARMED TROOPS SHOULD REMAIN ON THE STREETS UNTIL PEACE AND TRANQUILITY RETURN. THE ONLY SOLUTION TO MDC VIOLENCE ARE ARMED TROOPS - UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS WHAT THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE HAVE LEARNT.

    Buns Tinobvinex - 5 February 2019

    PLEASE Mr ED, for the safety of Zimbabweans - keep the troops on the streets!

    Buns Tinobvinex - 5 February 2019

    Peace loving Zimbabweans love their army and police because they maintain peace in our nation . Only lawless people hate the army and police . Please keep the army and police on the streets so that we move around peacefully .

    Hayibo - 5 February 2019

    No more Devils in Hell they are all in Zimbabwe. The government stance and heavy handedness is destroying the economy. Rhodesia was under heavy sanctions but it prospered and people lived a peaceful life because everything was affordable. Sooner rather than later ravaging soldiers will leave the streets as they will have no food themselves to eat and no fuel to drive around the trucks because there will be no currency to import fuel than they will come to their senses.

    Eddy - 5 February 2019

    The British Parliament is discussing the Zimbabwean Crisis today, continued presence of the army in the streets is fodder needed for the British to strongly recommend the Zimbabwe Crisis to be urgently considered at the UN the international community is closely watching red lines have been crossed. There are through with Venezuela (US is sending its military) Zimbabwe is next.

    Sinyo - 6 February 2019

    It is as clear as daylight that those that are supporting thepresence of soldiers are not ordinary folks living in the high density suburbs,but are a bunch of hoodlums who are actually benefiting from the situation obtaining in our beloved country.They are a group of vampires who cannot stand a few weeks without the sight of blood.They dont give a damn how many innocent citizens are bludgeoned ,raped and killed by the security forces,as long as they are benefiting from it.Their dreadful behaviour is totally devoid of any element of humanity.Its like they were never born!The state is not deploying soldiers to maintain peace in the high density surbus ,but to instill fear into the hearts of the citizens and to harass them so that they wont think of staging another protest,but the blunt truth of it is that it is not sustainable.

    janana wa Bikaz madhogodhogo - 6 February 2019

    those supporting the presence of the army in the streets should wait till their mothers and sisters are raped

    RAMBO - 6 February 2019

    Kana uchitya musoja kana mupurisa uritsotsi.teveddzera mutemo.....makadhakwa mese munoshora basa remapurisa svinurai.

    DOFO - 6 February 2019

    The continued presence of the army on the streets is a clear sign that the government is fearfull of a second shut down. It also confirms that the government continues with its primitive and disgusting tactics of forcing silence on citizenry. It also confirms that our security services sector especially the army are now zanupf party militias who see opposing minds as enemies who should be killed.

    Widzo - 6 February 2019

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