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Survivors of political violence in Muzarabani District receive support
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:
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, 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.
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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