This report covers the period 1 – 9 August 2018
Following a relatively peaceful 30 July 2018 plebiscite, violent protests broke out in Harare on 1 August 2018. The Zimbabwe National Army, (ZNA) was deployed into the streets, indiscriminately shooting and assaulting civilians. 6 people died from gunshots and many others were injured. Violence broke out in mostly high density suburbs and villages as the military and ZANU PF activists hunted down opposition activists. This reports captures the reports documented by members of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum from 1 to 9 August 2018. A total of 199 violations have been documented in this period. This report was compiled by the following members of the Forum: Amnesty International Zimbabwe, Counseling Services Unit, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Peace Project.
The information used is derived from:
▪ Citizen reports received via the Ziso/Ilihlo platform;
▪ Reports from the Forum’s member and partner organisations;
▪ The Forum’s Public Interest Unit;
▪ General reports from walk in clients; and
▪ Verified media reports.In addition, the Forum Secretariat and members deployed a team of monitors and lawyers to observe and assist victims in Harare Central Business District (CBD), Dzivarasekwa, Highfields, Chitungwiza, Waterfalls, Kuwadzana and surrounding areas. Reports were collected by human rights monitors across the country and shared across the network. In order to ensure a coordinated response to cases of organised violence, members operating on the ground came together to share and verify information as well as to coordinate responses. This is the first report by the consortium which covers the period 1 to 9 August 2018. A total of 199 violations were documented from 1 to 9 August 2018.
3.0 Violations from 1 to 9 August 2018
Violation Number of Violations Alleged Perpetrators
Extrajudicial Killings 6 Military officers
Gunshot wounds 7 Military officers
Disrupted Meetings 3 Police
Arbitrary Arrests 33 Police and military personnel
Destrution of Property. 7 ZANU PF Youths, Military Personnel, Harare Municipal Officers, MDC A Torture
Sexual torture, 3 Undisclosed
Attack on H.R. Defenders. 3 Suspected security personnel
Home and Office Raids 8 Suspected security personnel
a) Extra-Judicial Killings – Six (6) people were shot dead by army personnel following military deployment into the streets on the 1st of August. The Forum has been in touch with some of the families. Only one family of the deceased received monetary support to the amount of $1000 from the Civil Protection Unit. The Forum could not confirm if other families managed to receive anything. The families stated that they experienced problems in collecting bodies of their loved ones as hospitals tried to force them to accept documents that indicated knife stabbing.
b) Assaults – From 1 – 6 August 2018, the responders received calls from people in high density suburbs who reported that the military was moving around beating up residence. The assailants were identified by the witnesses as they disembarked from military vehicles, clad in military attire camouflage armed with AK Rifles and sjamboks. It was reported that there were two groups. The first group was beating people at random. The second group had a list of names of opposition supporters that they were hunting for. It was reported that they went door to door beating them up. In the rural areas, assaults were reported of members of the ruling party who attacked opposition persons who had been acting as polling agents. Monitors from the Forum were informed that some of the victims tried to seek medical help at Chitungwiza General Hospital but were turned away. The Forum interviewed one of the doctors who later assisted the victims at a private facility. The medical practitioner confirms that he saw the military vehicles in the area. The total number of assaults is estimated to be forty five (45) and Seven (7) non-fatal gun shots by the time this report was compiled. The victims, some of which had bullets lodged in their bodies including a deaf and dumb 44 year old male victim and some with soft tissue injuries received medical treatment.
e) Harassment and intimidation – Various cases of harassment and intimidation by the military have been reported mainly from the opposition’s supporters and polling agents. The highest cases have been reported in Chitungwiza, Kuwadzana, Highfield, Dzivarasekwa and Mbare. However, reports have also been received from other provinces such as Midlands, and Manicaland. In Hurungwe West, on 7 August 2018, an MDC A polling agent was harassed by ZANU PF supporters for being a polling agent. In Mutoko East Ward 15, Headman Nyamashuka is reported to be compiling names of polling agents. In Guruve, Chifamba Village, Ward 12, a ZANU PF Chairperson threatened a villager who had been a polling agent for an independent candidate. Number of violations is estimated at Twenty Seven (27).
f) Raids of Offices and Homes, Suspicious Visits – MDC Alliance offices and members’ homes have been raided across the country. Other raids were reported from people who acted as polling agents for the opposition. A number
of civil society members have also been visited at their homes, and arbitrary searches have been done. Whilst in most cases those responsible were in civilian clothes (identifying themselves as police), in some instances, armed uniformed members of the police and army have also been involved. Two (2) civil society organisations and their leaders have reported raids at their homes and offices by suspected security personnel.
The Forum urges the Government of Zimbabwe to stop all forms of retributive violence perpetrated on real and perceived supporters of the opposition political parties. It must further act to restore its integrity and commitment to peace.