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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
More eyewitness accounts from Zimbabwe
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¬†One correspondent in Harare writes: Please publish the latest report from ZADHR (Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights). The people as reported here are of course only those who manage to reach the private Hospital which takes some of the victims of violence ≠ many others languish untreated in the countryside. There is now a de facto curfew in the townships. Anyone seen outside after dark is beaten. The army are patrolling the streets. In the Anglican Cathedral (St Mary's in Harare, now occupied by Mugabe approved 'Archbishop' Nolbert Kunonga and various hired thugs) doors remain locked, opened only for a 7am empty English Service and for the main 9am Shona Service attended by 60-80 people. I saw my dear friend who looks after the car park his week. He was supervising an empty space sitting in his usual place reading his bible. He gave me a hug and said he was fine. I also saw the elderly white lady with her bicycle who feeds the birds in the cloisters. It was business as usual for both of them. Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights issued the following statement: ZADHR issued a statement on 15 April concerning 157 cases of organised violence and torture (OVT) documented by members of the Association. As of end of day on 17 April this total had reached 242. 42 cases were seen and treated on 17 April alone; six of these were women, one a boy of 12. Of the 42, 19 of the incidents occurred in Mashonaland East (Murehewa, Mutoko, Mudzi and Maramba) and a further 19 in or near Harare (Dzivarasekwa, Kuwadzana, Tafara, Budiriro, Glen Norah, Epworth and Chitungwiza). Most of these cases continue to be of soft tissue injury, especially of the buttocks but often in other parts of the body including the breast of women. The extreme force of the injuries is demonstrated by the common occurrence of superficial blistering and deep, sometimes extensive, haematoma formation. Haematomas are substantive collections of whole blood, as distinct from simple bruising which is blood in amongst other tissues. In 15 of the cases of soft tissue injury, there were documented tram tracks ≠ on the overlying skin. This is a classic sign of assault with a hard thin object such as a stick or baton. Three more cases had fractures of the forearm or hand (right ulna, left radius and ulna, two left metacarpals). The patient with fractured right ulna also sustained fractures of ribs on the left side of his chest associated with left haemothorax (blood in the space between the lungs and the chest wall). There have been reports of several deaths but because these do not usually present to ZADHR members, only one case (of multiple stab wounds to the chest and abdomen) can be confirmed. This was a brother of a patient from Karoi, previously reported as having been admitted to hospital in Harare. ZADHR remains deeply concerned that no measures are being taken by the authorities to prevent further violence and by allegations that security forces are now increasingly involved in assaults and torture, particularly in Harare. These cases suggest a disturbing trend of systematic violent assault and torture, and with more victims possibly unable to access medical attention in rural areas, urgent action is required to prevent the situation deteriorating further. It is essential that the United Nations, African Union and SADC take urgent and decisive steps to engage the Zimbabwean authorities and all stakeholders to end this crisis. ZADHR reiterates its call for an end to violence by all political parties and security forces. Further reports: Zanu PF media say that two policemen have been arrested for failing to add a box containing 5000 votes for Mugabe at a local result. ANGLICAN-INFORMATION observes that: The Mugabe regime (post election defeat) policy now seems clear - it is as follows: Soften up population by systematic violence, beatings and threats. Call a recount in 23 electoral districts (22 of which were won by the opposition MDC party) ≠ recount and declare that Zanu-PF has not after all lost the election. This 'recount' has started on 19 April. Once a parliamentary majority is re-established release the 'massaged' presidential results and call for a run-off. 'Win' the re-run presidential election by paying close attention to getting the right result. Reinstate the 'victor' President Mugabe. Business as usual for the privileged ruling elite In the meantime last week the Chinese cargo ship the An Yue Jiang docked at Durban in South Africa. It contains 77 tonnes of small arms, 3 million rounds of ammunition, AK47 assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades ≠ all destined for Zimbabwe. The Mbeki government declared that the cargo may legally pass to the Mugabe regime (there is no crisis) .... heroically South African dockers refused to unload the ship because the cargo is clearly destined for use against the Zimbabwean people. (At the time of this update the ship was reported to be on its way to Angola). A deafening silence has been emitted from a number of quarters about this appalling state of affairs, not least from the House of Bishops, Anglican Province of Central Africa. Bishop Sebastian Bakare struggling in the front line to regain the Anglican Diocese of Harare from the clutches of Nolbert Kunonga being a brave exception.
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