Zim reels under army crackdown

Human rights groups have called on  authorities to stop the ongoing military crackdown, amid a rising death toll from the brutal operation.

At least 17 people are now said to have died after being shot at by security forces, with more than one hundred others seriously wounded since ugly fuel protests flared around the country last month, the rights groups say.

The Human Rights NGO Forum — a conglomeration of local NGOs — said this week that there was a “de facto state of emergency” and ongoing “reign of terror” by the military.

The NGO Forum also said it had documented at least 17 extra-judicial killings, 16 rapes, 26 abductions and more than 600 assaults.

“The violations are systematic, unleashed mainly by male perpetrators whom the victims identified as wearing either military or police attire, armed with AK rifles and or batons, travelling in army and police vehicles.

“The targets of attack were initially the male population in high density suburbs but later became indiscriminate to include women and young girls,” the NGO Forum said.

In the meantime, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) major-general Douglas Nyikayaramba has denied that his men were responsible for the shootings of unarmed civilians and the rape of women during the violent crackdown on protesters.

Nyikayaramba also told the media on Wednesday that there was no question of soldiers being withdrawn from the streets until the police were certain all was well in the country.

“Well, as long as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is on top of the situation and they tell us that they are now in control and in charge, there is no reason for us to continue with the deployments because we have other commitments elsewhere, particularly training during peace time to perfect our skills and professionalism,” he said.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International says authorities have resorted to barbaric tactics to crush demonstrations. 

“Killings, reports of rape by military personnel and widespread arbitrary arrests of many protesters and non-protesters, have cast doubts on hopes that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government wants a better future for Zimbabweans where respect for human rights is the norm.

“Scores of human rights defenders, activists, opposition and civil society leaders suspected of organising protests have gone into hiding fearing for their lives as a State-sponsored witch-hunt continues, and several women are fearing for the worst after reportedly being raped by uniformed soldiers,” it said.

    Comments (11)

    Good day Mnangagwa and other ZanuPF hardliners and soothsayers: if you want financial and political stability in your country you must importantly do one thing: all land expropriated by Mugabe et al must be immeadiatly returned to the rightful owners who will be in possession of title deeds. They will get the land 'to work again' and three quarters of your problems will disappear. The only reason that your country is in such a mess is because of the 'land invasions' that occurred 15 years ago.

    Is that so? - 9 February 2019

    returning land is affirming that colonisation was justifiable and it also diminishes the value of the liberation struggle. reversing the land reform to appease the white man is non starter. the biggest problem is unbridled corruption , a cabal of incompetent fools concerned with looting and destroying the country. the rightful owners of the land are zimbabweans and they can work to make it a success, provided they is transparent and accountable leadership. that can be achieved by collectively working to put the needs of the country first irrespective of political disposition. i am afraid Is that so?you are clueless about zimbabwe and what it needs

    charera - 9 February 2019

    This nonsense of returning land to the whites is a none starter Is that so, sleep and dream again something different. The Namibian and South African governments are currently having no sleepless nights on this issue which Zimbabwe has resolved 19 years ago. Seriously on the issues of rape by Soldiers and Police officers in this age and time of the internet with different communication platforms why are the perpetrators not being apprehended in light of some them moving with vehicles take pictures and circulate them. send to authorities and these NGOs or your WhatsApp groups and see what happens. We do not want to be fed with wrong statistics to satisfy some agendas here.

    Mafirakureva - 9 February 2019

    Why was Africa colonised in the first place? How many countries were there in Africa before colonisation? Can Africa learn on its own or through forced learning? Can Africa civilise without being forced to civilise? Are people being tortured, murdered or raped by white people? Whether colonialism was wrong or good it was the faulty that generation. Zimbabwe and its people is now weaker more than it was when its ancestors were colonised. Did Africa learn anything from colonisation. Zimbabwe liberation struggle was in vain. Where are the fruits of it? What did these heroes we celebrate today die for? They widowed their wives for what? They orphaned their kids for what? For Zanu PF, did Tongogara really fought Smith for ED and Zanu PF to rape, kill and torture at will? Be the judge!

    Christ In Me - 9 February 2019

    Charera and Mafirakureva - you are the clueless ones. Why is there a food shortage in your country? Why is there a 90% unemployment rate in your country? Why is over 90% of the arable land in your country lying fallow? Why has your agricultural industry collapsed in a heap? The Namibian and South African govts will be having sleepless nights by the end of the year due to land expropriation resulting in food shortages. What kept you guys fat, healthy and happy over 20 years ago? : plenty of food and work and thriving industries with very high rate of employment for your family and family members. There was nothing to worry about in those days. I get the impression that you two are ZanuPF fatcat City Slickers driving Mercs or Double Cabs and not paying one cent in tax for anything. You probably aren't even paying your rates and taxes to your Municipality. Ever wondered that your country will be importing basic foodstuffs for the next 100 years.

    Is that so? - 9 February 2019

    As long as we painted our faces with white colour pretending to be the right one over the others, the right of yours is important than your next brother and sister then we are living on borrowed life that we waited those from west to correct our culture,right and human hood.

    Voice - 9 February 2019

    is that so, charera - you are both correct in certain assumptions but let's be clear there's not likely to be any land reform reversal. Things have gone to far. It's more about stamping out corruption and ridding the country of effectively an organized crime syndicate. With a genuine government of the people and for the people that understands good governance, the rule of law, and a set of economic policies that will encourage investment is the only way zim will ever truly recover. Can that be achieved? Only by ousting the existing bunch of incompetents and installing a military and police force that are there first and foremost to protect 'the people' Huge task and it's hard to imagine it can happen without blood being spilt and a refugee crisis. We close to that point - the real question is now how quickly things unravel. Many thought 2008 was the low point - sadly it looks like this is still to come.

    dr dre - 10 February 2019

    Is that so....yeah right!. Land ownership is reformed all over the world , Britain included. Scotland wish to do land reform , a political move by the nats though , to distribute land to communities and individuals that cant afford it on the free market. Beneficiaries will be party supporters mainly from the west coast , a region with more joblessness per capita in the country than elsewhere...also to mix communities that traditionally dont get on. I mean like , a teacher from Glasgow will be understood well in Cullybackey than in Lothian or a 65yr old Edinburgh born person probably has only been to Glasgow once in his or her life time...the oldet generation. Other regions like the north and south west do land reforms , on a minor scale, to encourage people to get into farming and rural life. South Africa will do well I think in reforming its agriculture and land ownership because they are doing it for economic reasons with less politics in it afters years of studying what works and what risk to manage or avoid. Its common math that an extra 100000 farmers are better than 30K only if the finance and business plans are sound.

    Ngidakiwe Na mtwana. - 10 February 2019

    As I said earlier: get the agricultural sector up and working efficiently and three quarters of your problems will disappear.

    Is that so? - 10 February 2019

    Is That So ,,,you are being subjective most probably you were directly or indirectly affected by Zimbabwe's irreversible land reform of the early part of the previous decade. The solution to Zimbabwe's problems is to get rid of the blood sucking gunslinger gangster monsters that calls itself a govt. NOT the return of land to the white former commercial farmers. Actually. Mugabe's land reform returned land to its original and legitimate owners.

    James Gunike - 10 February 2019

    Gunike - no, I was never affected by the farm thefts. But I am a realist, unlike you. So the farms were 'given' back to the original owners - but what sort of state are they in today? The british Govt/Smith handed over a perfectly wealth industrious working country to 'the rightful owners' - what state is that country in today. Wake up Gunike and smell the coffee. Your country is about to become THE failed state of Africa, (if it's not already there!!)and whose fault is that? - not Mnangagwa, but Mugabe and you guys who watched, took part and let it happen.

    Is that so? - 11 February 2019

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