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  • Truth, justice, reconciliation and national healing - Index of articles

  • Survivors of political violence in Muzarabani District receive support
    Heal Zimbabwe Trust
    July 02, 2010

    Heal Zimbabwe Trust descended on Muzarabani last month and held memorial services for victims of political violence. As a follow up strategy to the needs that arose from the survivors, HZT held a training workshop on 30 June with the villagers in a niche to assist them with income generating projects as many of them lost their source of livelihoods during the 2008 political fiasco.

    The income generating projects (IGPs) are in the form of small livestock rearing projects involving goats and poultry which are lucrative in the remote area of Muzarabani. The number of beneficiaries increased from the initial 8 families who benefited from the memorial services to 20 families (the bread winners were killed during political violence). During the memorial services which were held between 7- 11 June 2010, the surviving family members including spouses and children raised a lot of challenges among them loss of livelihood, children failing to go to school, revictimisation from suspected ZANU PF supporters.

    The beneficiaries of the IGPs received training on how to run small self help projects. They were grateful for the projects and promised to put as much effort to make the project a success.

    However from the training, it emerged that there were peculiar cases of revictimisation after the memorial services. The cases are as follows:

    Mr Morris Chapendeka

    After the memorial services of his two sons, Zondai and Toas who were allegedly gruesomely beaten to death and had their private parts cut off during the murder, Mr Chapendeka has been receiving threats from youths who accused him of "celebrating the deaths of traitors' during the memorial services. This has prompted Mr Chapendeka to leave in fear and solitude. The case has been reported to the police but little has been done by the police to assist the victim. Heal Zimbabwe Trust is engaging the political leadership of the two main political parties in Muzarabani North to partner JOMIC in resolving the continued threats to Mr Chapendeka and other residents of this district.

    Alice Chisumbu's daughter

    Alice Chisumbu, a victim of political violence who was killed in 2008 left behind two children, a boy 10 and a girl aged 14. The girl child was allegedly raped last month-June 2010 by the suspects who are believed to have murdered the mother. The daughter (name withheld to protect the minor) was allegedly raped by a perpetrator who was allegedly involved in her mother's murder during the post March 2008 political violence. The accused took advantage of the lawlessness of the period in question and raped her. When the accused discovered the consequences, he swiftly reported the case of the headman (also believed ZANU PF supporter) who immediately convened a meeting and forced the girl into marriage with the accused in a move to protect the man. The police later came and found the two living together as husband and 'wife' and thereby averting arrest.

    Heal Zimbabwe castigates in the strongest of terms the abuse of the minor by selfish people who take the law into their own hands. The organisation is working flat out to ensure that the continuous perpetration of psychological and emotional torture by people who hide behind certain political parties should cease forthwith. Heal Zimbabwe will engage strategic partners involved in child rights to allow the law to take its course.

    Article XVIII of the GPA which seeks security of all persons and prevention of violence and in which the parties agree to "apply the laws of the country impartially in bringing all the perpetrators of politically motivated violence to book" should be adhered to if the country is to heal from years of strife. HZT appeals to JOMIC and the Home Affairs department to intervene in these dire cases as the people in Muzarabani and other remote provinces are yet to taste the fruits of the GPA.

    The assistance that HZT is offering is not only limited to Muzarabani alone as more areas affected by political violence in various provinces will also benefit from the same programme.

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