Tuesday, 4 October 2016


 Members of the Zimbabwe National Army on Sunday night terrorised residents of Hopley in Harare, allegedly indiscriminately beating up people suspected of being opposition MDC-T supporters.
Several people were left seriously injured, including the 28-year-old wife of the MDC Youth District chairperson for the area and her six-week-old baby.
Three of the victims were assisted at the Counseling Services Unit, which helps victims of political violence.
The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the soldiers came looking for her husband and on failing to find him, they started to beat her up to force her to reveal his whereabouts.
"Soldiers, numbering more than 20, came home around 10 in the evening demanding to see my husband. When I told them that he was not there, they broke the door and searched everywhere for him. When they could not find him, they threw my six-week-old baby boy from the bed where he was sleeping and started beating me up," she said.

She said they poured cold water over her half naked body while they beat her with clenched fists and kicked her with booted feet. She said the soldiers were saying that her husband was a member of Tajamuka and they wanted him to taste his own medicine because he was also involved in beating up people.
Tajamuka is a campaign which aims to force President Robert Mugabe to step down.
Another MDC-T activist, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, was assaulted by the soldiers.
"They came to Sonke bar where I was playing pool and tried to drag me into their car, but I resisted. The started beating me with the cue-stick and a log, while others beat me with clenched fists and booted feet," he said.
The 36-year-old activist sustained head and back injuries and was having difficulties sitting and walking. "I was severely beaten and staggered home after the beatings. They kept asking me where my chairman was," he said.
A 28-year-old man said he heard some noise outside and when he went out to investigate, he was forced to sit down in the road and was severely assaulted.
"I am not even involved in politics but they just beat me up for no apparent reason. They used logs, clenched fists and booted feet," he said. The man also sustained head and back injuries and was treated at the CSU.
The three said they feared that the soldiers would come back for them again, saying they no longer felt safe in their neighbourhood.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba refused to comment, saying she was busy with something else.

Cases of political violence have been on the increase lately and last week members of the Zimbabwe People First party, including war veteran and retired Brigadier General Agrippa Mutambara, were assaulted by Zanu-PF supporters in Guruve. 


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