Wednesday 22 November 2023


An OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) polling agent in the August 23 and 24 polls claims she was raped by a suspected member of Zanu PF affiliate, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ) after she spurned a US$150 bribe offer to rig the elections.

Fiona Dube (not her real name) said she met her fate after she refused to accept a US$150 bribe to leave the polling station in Muzarabani to pave way for rigging.

 “We were about to count the votes when the presiding officer suggested that I, together with my co-polling agent, leave the station,” Dube said.

“They offered us US$150 so that we could leave but we turned down the offer.

“But they forced us to go outside despite our resistance.”

Dube met her fate soon after she stepped out of the polling station

“There were five men, who dragged us outside the premises of the polling station,” she said.

“As we were out, they took logs and started to beat us mercilessly. I thought I was going to die.

“I cried for help but no one came to our rescue as it was deep into the night.

“When they stopped beating us, my relief was short-lived. One man dragged me just a few metres from where they attacked us, and raped me.

“The others were watching. Even my co-polling agent, a male, was at the scene. I lost my sense of dignity, felt belittled and dehumanised.”

The rape incident, however, did not deter Dube from being a watchdog for her party in the elections. 

After the incident, she proceeded to the command centre for the collation of results.

“I was determined that I had to finish what I had started. I needed to guard the vote because I had pledged my service to the party.”

Dube is just one of hundreds of CCC activists who have been victimised and tortured in the aftermath of the disputed August 23 and 24 elections.

The CCC reported that in another incident in Muzarabani, polling agent Tariro Moyo (not her real name) was also raped by four men who left her for dead.

Several party members have been left nursing injuries in a fresh wave of abductions which started a few days after the elections.

A CCC supporter Tapfumaneyi Masaya was abducted and killed last week in Mabvuku, Harare, while campaigning for a party candidate in preparation for the December 9 by-elections.

CCC councillor Womberaiishe Nhende and party supporter Sonele Mukhulani, former legislator James Chidhakwa and MP Takudzwa Ngadziore were also allegedly abducted and tortured by suspected State security agents.

Zanu PF has been fingered in most of the abductions.

However, the ruling party denies the claims.

In 2022, Zimbabwe recordered 1 996 cases of human rights violations mostly blamed on Zanu PF activists, according to the latest report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

The forum said human rights violations had worsened under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership.

“The government failed to investigate to finality cases of human rights violations and corruption, resulting in scarce arrests of perpetrators and prosecutions,” the report added.

As political violence continues, hundreds of CCC party supporters have been forced to flee their homes, with some seeking refuge at safe houses in Harare.

A CCC official responsible for tracking cases of violence, abduction and torture Vongai Tome said the party’s safe houses were now full.

“We are overwhelmed with reports of our members who are being victimised,” Tome said.

“We have nowhere to take the victims. Well-wishing CCC officials are offering accommodation to those who are stranded.

“But without offers of accommodation from anywhere, we are temporarily keeping some of the victims at our offices as we look for alternative accommodation.”

Tome raised concern over failure by the police to investigate the matters. Newsday


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