Friday, March 4, 2011


Habakkuk Trust Information Department

In a recent case of politically motivated violence, a 32 years old Gwanda woman was on Monday abducted and tortured by alleged youth militia and war veterans in Silonga, Ward 15 before being released the next day.

Narrating her ordeal to Habakkuk Trust, the woman (name withheld) says ‘ZANU PF youths and war veterans came to my homestead, handcuffed me and beat me with an iron bar on the forehead after which they dragged me to their base within the farm and I was beaten severely all over the body and released the next day in the evening’.
The visible shaken and traumatised woman also revealed that her assailants took away her identity particulars, clothes and medication which they threw into the toilet.

The woman who is an MDC-T supporter said she was beaten for her affiliation with the party and accused her of being an ‘MDC-T daughter in law’.
After her release on Tuesday evening, the mother of two children, a Grade 4 girl and Grade 1 boy sought transport from well-wishers who took her to Gwanda and then Bulawayo where she was accommodated by a Pastor. The Pastor then took her to Habakkuk Trust offices for assistance.
‘As I was running away through the bush I noticed that there were many of them on the road and this made me hide for safety’ narrates the lady who did not report the matter to the Gwanda Police because of fear.

Habakkuk Trust has through its linkages with other civic society groups, managed to advocate for the woman to get immediate medical attention and sought shelter for her and her two children.
By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

Bulawayo residents have for the past three days been living in absolute fear emanating from the increased number of armed police details in the streets and the increase in roadblocks along major highways leading to the Matabeleland Capital and Zimbabwe’s second largest City.
Residents have witnessed an increase in the number of armed youthful police officers wearing helmets, carrying teargas canisters and button sticks at major spots such as Egodini bus terminus, TM Hyper and the City Centre.
Emakhandeni residents and local leaders said yesterday they witnessed 8 heavily armed army trucks parked at Emagestini.
Another concern especially from residents traveling along the major highways leading to the City has been the recent increase in roadblocks and police searches.
The prevailing situation continues to instill a lot of fear and despondency to the residents especially at a time when the nation is supposed to be preparing for an election. There are areas within the City where residents have been finding it difficult to carry on with their normal lives and to conduct development work because of fear of police harassment. A case in point is the Habakkuk Trust Emakhandeni Action Team that failed to have a meeting yesterday fearing the police might descend on them.
The heavy police and military presence in the City comes at a time when there has been numerous arrests of civic and political activists nationwide on allegations of plotting mass demonstrations against the government – the Egypt style.