Gang rape horror – Mugabe’s new terror weapon

MDC warns of worsening AIDS crisis 

MUTARE – Fears are mounting that the ongoing political violence in which a number of women are being gang-raped will worsen the already serious AIDS situation, a senior MDC official has said.

Pishai Muchauraya, MDC Manicaland spokesman, said at least four cases of gang-rape of female MDC supporters by Zanu (PF) militants had been reported since the June 27 presidential election run-off in Manicaland alone.

These are just the tip of an iceberg as the majority of cases go unreported.

Memory, 32, from Nhamo village in Buhera Central, who was abducted and taken to Baravara torture base, was gang raped by Zanu (PF) militants for three days.

“She was forced to have unprotected sex with the youth militia and war vets at Baravara,” Muchauraya said.  “She was released and dumped days later on the road near her home. She is currently at SASU receiving treatment.”

Maggie from Makoni South, who was abducted on July 6 at her house by Zanu militias, is still held at Nzvimbe torture base in Makoni South as a sex slave where she is being gang-raped daily by the Zanu (PF) militia.

Rachel, 34, was abducted on July 1 and released on July 3 after being gang raped and forced to pay ZD50 billion.

“All these cases have been reported to the police and they have shown no interest in dealing with the cases whatsoever,” Muchauraya said.

Human rights organisations have also criticised the government for its slow response to the growing threat posed by the disease. Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, with an estimated one in six adults HIV positive. More than 200 people are thought to be dying every day from AIDS-related illnesses.

“There are a lot of women who have been raped during the course of this political violence, obviously far much more than we have documented,” Muchauraya said. “What access will they have to anti-retroviral medicine? None whatsoever. They’re sentenced to death, merely for being MDC supporters.”

Under the Sexual Offences Act, rapists who infect their victim with AIDS face a death penalty. But there has been selective application of the law, especially in politically motivated cases.

Perpetrators of politically-motivated rape have been granted amnesty, leaving their victims to die a slow and painful death, with no access to medication.

Zimbabwe’s health service has crumbled in the face of the AIDS onslaught.

Nonetheless, the government continues to spend more on Defence than on Health, ignoring a pandemic culling the entire productive age group.

Post published in: News

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