“We the undersigned organisations are concerned about the abuse of women by suspected State security agents across the country.“We are worried about the failure by the government of Zimbabwe to bring perpetrators of violence against women to justice and are determined to ensure justice for female victims of torture, rape, enforced disappearance, assault, arbitrary arrests, and other abuses,” the organisations said in the petition.
VARIOUS women’s organisation have petitioned the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to launch an independent investigation into the assault and torture of women by suspected State security agents, the Daily News on Sunday reports.
This comes after three MDC youth leaders, who participated in a flash demonstration in Harare recently, were allegedly abducted and tortured. Two other women in Bulawayo also allegedly suffered the same fate at the hands
of State security agents.
The petition, signed by organisations such as Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence, WELEAD Trust, Economic Justice For Women Zimbabwe, Female Prisoners Support Trust and Imba Mukadzi/Umuzi Ngumama Trust, also calls on UN Women, African Union Commission Sadc Gender Unit, and Women’s Affairs ministry to assist with investigations and ensure that women are protected from all forms of violence.
“This petition comes against a backdrop of systematic attacks on women human rights defenders, activists and
women in general by suspected State security agents in the past two years. Among the many cases is that of two women from Bulawayo, Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu, who were seriously assaulted by six police officers for allegedly breaching Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
“The women suffered a lot of trauma and injuries. Another lady, Lucia Masvondo from Karoi was assaulted on 03 April 2020 by police and army officers who also set dogs on her, injuring her in the process. Her alleged crime was that she had defied lockdown regulations,” reads part of the petition.
The petitioners added that the ZHRC, NPRC and ZGC had a legal obligation to get to the bottom of the matter.
“We also demand that independent commissions supporting democracy provide a safe and secure platform for the victims to submit evidence of the crimes committed by the suspected security forces.”