HZT demands Justice on all cases of Political Violence

.............4 Sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for 2008 murder charge.

Heal Zimbabwe Trust welcomes the move by the High Court of Zimbabwe on sentencing of 4 Kadoma youths who committed manslaughter post the 2008 election run-off. The 4 ZANU-PF youths namely, Nobert Muzhinji, Thabani Mashonganyika, Sikhumbuzo Madhuveko and Mangisi Mutandavari were on 22 July 2014 each sentenced to 15 years in jail for the murder of MDC-T supporter John Max in August 2008.

Max was assaulted and fatally stabbed at Chidhuri Buffalo Farm in Kadoma by the youths, who accused him of being a "political sell-out". Max is one of close to 500 human rights activists killed during the 2008 political violence. The move by the Court acts as a clear deterrent factor to would be perpetrators of violence. It also goes to show that nobody is above the law thus cannot get away with grievous crimes of violence.

While it has taken years to bring closure to the matter, HZT encourages the judiciary and the police to investigate other outstanding cases of violations without fear nor favour, cases that seem to have been “forgotten” over the years. Further efforts must be taken by the police to ensure that Stabiliser Kadafi, Lovemore Nyikadzino, Tinashe Makaurire and Paul Muzenda, who are still being sought in connection with the murder, are apprehended and tried expeditiously since meaningful healing can only be realized when justice has been meted out.

These prosecutions are an integral element of Transitional Justice that aim to ensure that those responsible for committing crimes, including serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of international human rights law, are tried in accordance with international standards of fair trial and, where appropriate, punished.

The move also brings about the need for speed with regards to the full operationalisation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC). A fully functional NPRC will be able to complement the police and the courts in dealing with past cases of violence and torture so as to attain meaningful justice and healing in the nation.

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