Issue 3, 20-27 June 2003 "The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress"

CARTOONS
JOKES

ABOUT US
RULING PARTY ZANU PF
OPPOSITION MDC

BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE

AMERICAN STATE DEPT
Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, March 1997
REPORT ON THE 80S ATROCITIES IN MATABELELAND AND THE MIDLANDS  
THE DAMNING EVIDENCE THEY DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE

RESULTS PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF NAMED HUMAN RIGHTS OFFENCES
1.HUMAN RIGHTS DATA BASE - NAMED VICTIMS
Methodology has already been covered in some depth in Part One, II. To summarise, named victims were extracted from multiple sources, which included CCJP archival material, interviews conducted in the 1990s, paralegal clients, and previously published human rights and academic documents. These named victims were entered into the "HR Data Base". Each name was allocated a number, a set of letters indicating offence/s, and district and perpetrator were also tabulated.(see page for more detail). The following totals were arrived at:

PART ONE : DATA SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
OFFICIAL VIOLENCE & IMPLICATIONS FOR VICTIMS
HUMAN RIGHTS DATA BASE - NAMED VICTIMS
HUMAN REMAINS - THEIR POSSIBLE RECOVERY
THE VILLAGE BY VILLAGE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
PREFACE

TOTAL VICTIMS:3 534entries in combined HR Data Bases.
OFFENCES:7 246 [most victims suffered 2 or even 3 offences: occasionally one entry clearly indicates more than 1 victim - see Part One, II for examples.

Approximately one thousand victims were validated from more than one source, and more than 300 were validated by 3 or more sources.

2. THE CHRONICLE DATA BASE

Data from The Chronicle, Bulawayo's daily newspaper, were entered into an identical, but separate data base, for reasons discussed in Part One, II. The Chronicle listed victims in 2 ways, defined for the purposes of this report as "General" and "Specific" Reports.

"General Reports" are the six monthly statements in Parliament, giving total numbers of dissident offences without clear indication of where they occurred.

"Specific Reports" are the day by day reports of dissident activites, which tended to give the district where offences took place, the number of victims or value of property lost, but not usually the exact names of victims. Only specific reports were entered into The Chronicle Data Base.

The Chronicle data base consisted of 562 entries, and covered the months from June 1982 to March 1988.


3.ANALYSIS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND `CHRONICLE' DATA
Victim data were computer-sorted along various parameters for assessment.
It was sorted alphabetically by:
1 District
2. Year and Month (numerical sorting)
3. Type of offence
4. Surname and then first names of victim

A process of counting rows, once this sorting was complete, made it possible for the computer to quantify offences in required ways. Data were sorted by district and offence for Table I, and were resorted by perpetrator, offence and year for Table II.

Total numbers of offences exceeded total number of named victims, as the majority of victims suffered multiple injuries, such as loss of property and death, or detention and torture. If victims suffered injuries from more than one agency (ie 5 Brigade and CIO), then only the primary agency is counted as perpetrator.

As mentioned previously, data from The Chronicle were kept separately, but were sorted and counted in the same way as other data.

4.PRESENTATION OF RESULTS
A. TABLES

TABLE I -Human Rights (HR) Data Base: the District by District Distribution of victims.
TABLE II - HR Data Base: Comparison of Yearly Totals of Dissident and Army Offences.
TABLE III -The Chronicle Data Base (Specific Reports): the District by District Distribution of victims.
TABLE IV -The Chronicle: Comparison of Yearly Totals of Dissident and Army offences.
TABLE V - General Reports in The Chronicle, announced every 6 months in Parliament, listing numbers of dissident offences.
TABLE VI -The numbers of alleged killings and arrests of dissidents by government agencies, as given in The Chronicle.

B.GRAPHS

These can be found immediately following the Tables.

C.DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

This accompanies the graphs, and there is a further discussion in which the possible numbers of real victims is assessed.

KEY TO OFFENCES

X Death
M Missing, presumed dead
P Property loss - destruction or theft
TPhysical torture: includes all types of torture not covered by other categories, such as electrical shock, tying up of victim, submarino etc.
D Detention (by Govt agencies)
K Kidnap or abduction (by dissidents)
AS Physical torture: Assault with Sticks, or other blunt weapon
ABPhysical torture: Assault with Burning object, or enclosure of victim in burning building
ABy Physical torture: Assault with Bayonette, or other sharp weapon
AG Physical injury: Gun Shot Wound
R Rape

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE: Forced witnessing of violence, in particular against those you love and respect, is a very effective and devastating form of torture: thousands of Zimbabweans were victims of this experience. Being forced to watch your family starving as the result of food embargos, or being subjected to verbal threats, are other forms of psychological torture that whole populations suffered. As this was so wide-spread, no attempt has been made to quantify psychological torture. Definitions and implications of psychological torture are dealt with in Part Three, I of the report.

TABLE I
HR DATA BASE - SUMMARY OF OFFENCES BY DISTRICT AND TYPE OF OFFENCE

DISTRICT\PROVINCE Death
X Missing
M Prop
P Tort
T Detain
D AS\B\G\ By Rape TOTAL
MAT SOUTH 35 35
BEITBRIDGE 1 2 2 12 21 38
GWANDA 45 8 1 3 15 (S)26
(G)1 99
MATOBO 87 5 30 0 1872
(214) (S)384
(B)1
(G)5 10 2 419

INSIZA 3 1 5 (S)3 12
BULAWAYO 6 28 4 10 106 (S)8 162
BULILIMAMANGWE 51 16 4 3 6 (S)22
(G)2 5 109
UMZIMGWANE 2 8 17 (S)3 30
MAT NORTH
BUBI (INYATHI) 21 2 23
NYAMANDLOVU 46 4 18 (S)61
(G)6 135
TSHOLOTSHO 621 148 494 268 0 (S)530
(B)4
(G)23
(By)9 138 2 446
LUPANE 275 41 58 2 158 (S)186
(B)10
(G)37
(By)1 6 774
NKAYI 117 24 5 116 (S)39
(G)8 309
HWANGE 5 1 7 (S)3 16
VIC FALLS 5 1 6
MIDLANDS
GOKWE 7 (S)1 8
GWERU 33 40 33 7 30 (S)103 246
KWEKWE 18 4 26 14 20 (S)22 104
MBERENGWA 1 1
UNKNOWN 46 27 5 63 (S)34
(G) 1 176
DISTRICT Dead
X Miss
M Prop
P Tort
T Detain
D Assault Rape TOTAL
MASHONALAND
CHEGUTU 1 1 2
MAKONDI 2 2
GUTU 1 1
HARARE 10 2 1 7 (By)3 23
KADOMA 5 24 29
MASVINGO 2 23 25
MANICALAND
MUTARE 2 2
BOTSWANA 1 2 10 (S)1 14

TOTALS 1437 354 680 366 2713 1537 159 7 246

TOTAL OF HR DATA BASE OFFENCES IN COUNTRY: 7 246


TABLE II

HR DATA BASE: SUMMARY OF PERPETRATORS AND TYPE OF OFFENCE, TOTALLED FOR YEARS 1982 - 1987
[For year by year break down, see Tables II i - II vii, following]


ALL
YEARS PERPETRATOR Dead
X Mis s
M Prop
P Tort
T Detn
D Assault
AS\B\G\
By Rape
R TOTAL
5 BRIGADE 1134 169 523 273 223 2 1284 128 5743
ARMY 116 39 39 18 26 67 19 324
CIO 24 81 5 51 256 46 2 465
CID 3 4 1 6 14
SUPP UNIT 4 4 5 2 3 18
ZRP 6 11 3 12 39 3 74
ZANU-PF YOUTH 29 73 63 165
PISI 1 4 20 4 29
ARMED MEN 5 1 11 17
DISSIDENTS 64 4 23 1 2 44 4 142
PERPETRATOR UNKNOWN 52 40 9 6 130 12 6 255
TOTALS 1437 354 680 366 271 3 1537 159 7 246

TOTAL OF HR DATA BASE OFFENCES IN COUNTRY: 7 246
NOTE:
i) Perpetrators are recorded as perceived by interviewees: many could not clarify or did not mention which unit in the "Army" had committed a certain act.
ii) When perpetrator is perceived as "Police" or "ZRP" this could also mean one of several units, such as Special Constabulary, CID, Police Support Unit, PISI, or regular ZRP members.
iii) In the vast majority of `Detentions - Perpetrator unknown', government agencies can be assumed: in 1985 in particular, many men were taken from their beds at night by men from government vehicles: for one of many witnessed accounts of such a detention, see page YY . Also included in "Detentions - Perpetrator unknown" were many named detainees from Chikurubi, who were obviously detained by government agencies, but which precise agency is not on record.
iv) CIO often acted in conjunction with other agencies, such as PISI, and such cases have been recorded only under CIO, in order not to inflate apparent numbers of offences. This means other agencies were in fact more commonly implicated than would appear from the Table alone. The number of offences by the CIO is also dramatically underestimated in the table, because of the role CIO played at Bhalagwe Camp: both 5 Brigade and CIO tortured people here, but offences in Bhalagwe have been attributed to 5 Brigade only, again in order not to inflate apparent numbers of people tortured - those tortured at Bhalagwe by CIO run to hundreds if not thousands: see Matobo case study and Part Three, III.
v) "Armed men" could be either dissidents or government agencies.
TABLE 2 (i - vii): PERPETRATORS AND TYPE OF OFFENCE, TOTALLED FOR EACH YEAR, 1982 - 1987


YEAR PERPETRATOR X M P T D A R TOTAL
i - 1982 ARMY 13 4 3 2 S:5
By:1 7 35
CIO 6 9 15
ARMED MEN 2 2
DISSIDENTS 16 1 8 3 28
UNKNOWN 3 1 4
1982 TOTALS 32 6 3 8 9 16 10 84

ii - 1983 5 BRIGADE 970 122 464 42 33 S:667
By:5
B 8
G:41 107
2 459

ARMY 39 8 16 8 14 S:23
G:1 1 110
CIO 2 8 3 12 4 29
CID 1 3 4
SUPP UNIT 1 3 3 1 8
ARMED MEN 3 3
DISSIDENTS 11 10 1 1 8 31
UNKNOWN 33 8 3 3 4 6 57
1983 TOTALS 1060 152 496 57 61 761 114 2701

iii - 1984 5 BRIGADE 157 39 59 21 1989 556 10 2 831
ARMY 32 10 8 5 7 14 76
CIO 6 9 1 1 18 3 38
SUPP UNIT 1 1 2 1 2 7
ZRP 2 2 1 1 6
ZANU-PF YOUTH 15 10 31 56
ARMED MEN 2 2
DISSIDENTS 15 2 1 4 1 23
UNKNOWN 1 7 7 3 18
1984 TOTALS 229 68 82 27 2024 616 11 3 057
YEAR PERPETRATOR X M P T D A R TOTAL
iv - 1985 5 BRIGADE 5 7 210 210 7 11 450
ARMY 9 11 7 4 10 11 52
CIO 9 64 1 18 104 20 1 217
CID 2 1 1 6 10
SUPP UNIT 2 1 3
ZRP 4 5 3 11 20 2 45
ZANU-PF YOUTH 14 63 32 109
PISI 2 13 4 19
ARMED MEN 2 1 3
DISSIDENTS 11 3 7 15 36
UNKNOWN 5 21 6 96 1 129
1985 TOTALS 63 112 87 242 453 93 23 1073

v - 1986 ARMY 1 1 1 1 S:4
By:1
G:1
10
CIO 1 18 89 17 1 126
ZRP 1 1 2
PISI 2 2
ARMED MEN 1 4 5
DISSIDENTS 3 4 S:3
G:1 11
1986 TOTALS 5 2 4 20 93 31 1 156

vi - 1987 ARMY 1 1 2 2 6
CIO 6 3 5 21 2 37
ZRP 4 17 21
PISI 1 2 5 8
DISSIDENTS 4 5 9
UNKNOWN 1 1 2
1987 TOTALS 12 6 5 7 43 10 83
YEAR PERPETRATOR X M P T D A R TOTAL
vii YEAR
NOT
KNOWN PERPETRATOR
KNOWN
5 BRIGADE 2 1 3
ARMY 21 4 3 2 5 35
CIO 3 3
ARMED MEN 2 2
DISSIDENTS 4 4
UNKNOWN 9 3 3 27 3 45
TOTALS 36 8 3 5 30 10 92


TABLE III - A

THE CHRONICLE - JUNE 1982 TO MARCH 1988: "SPECIFIC REPORTS".
SUMMARY OF ALL OFFENCES BY DISTRICT AND TYPE OF OFFENCE.

MATABELELAND AND MIDLANDS


OFFENCE Dead
X Miss
M Prop
P Kidnap/
Detain Assault
As Rape
R TOTA LS
DISTRICTS\PROVINCES
MAT SOUTH 18 18
BEITBRIDGE 12 7 2 21
GWANDA 23 64 1(k) 1(d) 32 5 126
INSIZA 3 6 9
MATOBO 39 38 20(k) 5 102
BULILIMAMANGWE 26 49 4(k) 36 115
BULAWAYO 5 3 9 83(d) 2(k) 4 1 107
UMZINGWANE 3 5 1 9
MAT NORTH 23 77(d) 100
NYAMANDLOVU 37 87 31(k) 16 171
TSHOLOTSHO 27 1 7 1(d)
8(k) 14 2 60
INYATHI (BUBI) 11 11 1 23
NKAYI 34 16 1(k) 4 2 57
LUPANE 20 76 1(d) 2 6 105
HWANGE 8 3 4 4 19
BINGA 1 1
TOTALS (NORTH & SOUTH) 290 4 378 163(d)
67(k) 121 20 1043
MIDLANDS
GOKWE 5 5 2 12
KWEKWE 2 5 1 8
GWERU 25 7 3(d) 22 57
MBERENGWA 8 2 3 13
TOTALS 40 19 3(d) 28 90
TABLE III - B

OTHER LOCATIONS INCLUDING UNKNOWN


OFFENCE
DISTRICT\PROVINCES
Death
X Missing
M Prop
P Kidnap
K Assault
As Rape
R TOTALS
MANICALAND
CHIPINGE 2 9 9 7 27
CHIMANIMANI 2 2 4
NYANGA 3 3
MASVINGO 2 2
MASHONALAND
CENTENARY 4 1 5
CHEGUTU 1 1
HARARE (SEKE) 1 1 6(d) 16 24
MAZOWE 4 1 5
MARONDERA 1 1 2
MASHONALAND 1 1
MUDZI 1 1
SUNDRY VILLAGES 11 4 5 1 21
UNKNOWN 3 1 5 9
TOTALS 34 16 16(k)
6(d) 32 1 105


TOTAL OFFENCES (all perpetrators) IN COUNTRY = 1238
TABLE IV

THE CHRONICLE, JUNE 1982 TO MARCH 1988: "SPECIFIC REPORTS": DISSIDENT OFFENCES AND ARMY OFFENCES BY YEAR

IV - A: DISSIDENT OFFENCES

YEAR Dead
X Property
P Kidnap
K Assault
AS Rape
R
TOTAL
1981 3 3 1 1 8
1982 60 185 1 67 2 315
1983 61 107 52 26 1 247
1984 29 4 8 16 6 63
1985 91 48 23 162
1986 9 21 15 45
1987 70 44 10 17 1 142
1988 1 12 1 14
TOTAL 323 413 83 166 11 996

IV - B: OFFENCES BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, INCLUDING ALL ARMY AND POLICE UNITS, AND ALSO ZANU-PF YOUTH.


YEAR Dead
X Missing
M Detained
D Assault
As Rape
R TOTAL
1982 7 1 151 4 6 169
1983 18 3 15 10 4 50
1984 7 1 8
1985 9 6 9
TOTALS 41 4 172 15 10 242

There were NO REPORTS of property detroyed by government agencies, although `rioters' are acknowledged in 1985.

There were NO REPORTS of offences by any government agencies after 1985.


TOTAL OFFENCES IN COUNTRY = 1238


TABLE V

THE CHRONICLE : JAN 1983 - DEC 1986
"GENERAL REPORTS" ON DISSIDENT ATROCITIES

JAN 1983 - JAN 1984Released JAN 1984, but time span not clear:
120 murders 58 ZANU officials killed
284 robberies 61 civilians killed
25 mutilations 37 raped
47 rapes

JAN 1984 - JULY 1984No report on offences between July 1984 and Jan 1985
45 civilians killed
37 rapes
253 robberies

JAN 1985 - JULY 1985JULY 1985 - JAN 1986
45 killed103 killed
40 raped57 raped
215 robberies263 robberies


plus millions in property damage

DURING 1986 1987 - NO GENERAL REPORT
116 civilians killed
57 raped
20 abducted
210 robberies, worth $47 000

GENERAL REPORTS SPECIFIC REPORTS
TOTALS JAN1983 - DEC 1986 TOTALS JAN 1983 - DEC 1986
Killed: 429 Killed: 157
Prop loss:1225 Prop loss:174
Assaults: 25 mutilations Assaults:103
Rapes:238 Rapes:5
TOTAL:1917 TOTAL:439

NOTE: "Specific Reports" totals here are lower than for the "district by district" analysis because they exclude offences before January 1983 and after December 1986 to correspond with dates of General reports. Also excluded from "Specific Report" totals are those "dissident" offences which took place between Jan 1983 and Dec 1986 in other parts of the country: "General Reports" always refer to Matabeleland and Midlands only, so "Specific Reports" here do the same.
TABLE VI

THE CHRONICLE: OFFICIAL REFERENCES TO NUMBERS OF DISSIDENTS IN OPERATION, OR KILLED OR CAPTURED, JUNE 1982 - MAR 1988

1982 1984
JUNE 1 killed JAN 1 killed
JULY Dissident numbers between 150 and 200 - Mugabe. 175 armed clashes since July 1983
1 killed, 1 captured FEB 459 killed or captured "since operations began"
AUG 3 killed, 2 injured MAR 41 killed since Jan
SEPT 300 ex-ZIPRAS have deserted the army - Sekeramayi. MAY 3 killed
OCT 77 demobbed ZIPRAS arrested - Kangai JUNE 5 killed
DEC
1983
13 killed, 5 captured JULY 16 killed since Feb curfew
58 brought to trial
191 armed clashes
FEB Sekeramayi declines to give details of people killed: " a good number of dissidents and their collaborators have been killed." OCT
NOV
100+ killed in 1984
10 killed, 37 captured

17 ex ZIPRAS desert - Mugabe. DEC 3 killed
Nyoka refutes claims of atrocities and refuses to give a figure on deaths. 1985

MAR Mnangagwa denies harrassment of civilians and says the infrastructure supporting dissidents must be destroyed. JAN -
DEC 68 bandits killed in 1985 - Chief Supt T Gere
"Several" dissidents and army deserters arrested in Bulawayo. 1986
Sekeramayi calls stories of army atrocities "malicious". JAN -
DEC 45 dissidents killed, "specific reports" totalled.
10 dissidents killed.
APRIL Munyaradzi denies many civilians are seeking medical help. 1987
Locals are reported to be capturing and killing dissidents. JAN -
DEC 31 dissidents killed, "specific reports" totalled. UNITY - Dec
8 killed
AUG 4 killed 1988
OCT 3 killed, 1 injured FEB 2 killed, 122 surrender

TOTAL DISSIDENTS ACCORDING TO THE CHRONICLE: 800 (approx) B.GRAPHS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

The figures represented in tables above, are here graphed to highlight certain trends. Tables have been graphed to show distribution of offences by district, by perpetrator, and by district and perpetrator together. The different categories of offence have also been extracted and graphed over time. "Perpetrator" is always as recorded in archival data, or as alleged by interviewees.

Figures currently in the HR Data Base must be viewed as the known minimum number of victims in listed districts . These numbers of victims can only grow as more evidence comes to light. While the Data Base is far from comprehensive, it will be noted from the graphs that certain trends are nonetheless clearly apparent. The offences on file, their alleged perpetrators, and the years in which certain offences lie grouped, confirm the general claims made in the earlier parts of this report.

In addition, there is now the evidence from the case study areas, showing how dramatically figures rise when data is actively sought. In all other areas, data is archival, and not comprehensive even in the assessment of archival sources, in that numbers of victims indicated by archival material were not included on the HR Data Base, in order to prevent counting victims twice, once with and once without a name.

The numbers of offences listed in the HR Data Base are therefore the MOST CONSERVATIVE figures possible to consider at this stage. For a brief examination of how it might be possible to use our knowledge from the case study areas, together with HR Data Base figures and our general knowledge at this stage, to arrive at a truer picture of the scale of the disturbances, see the final section of this discussion.

NAMED VICTIMS: Report compilers discussed the possibility of including at the back of this report, a list of NAMED DEAD. Human rights reports have opted to do this in recent years. The permission of surviving family members would ethically be needed in order to list the dead. However, many names on file are archival with no clear postal address for surviving family members now known.The interview form used in the 1990s also did not have on it a request for permission to publish names. While postal addresses for those interviewed in the 1990s are available, the logistics of sending out a request to publish names, and waiting for responses would be enormous. In some cases, where four or more sources confirm the name of a certain dead or missing person, several variations of how precisely the name is spelt may be given. Authenticating correct spelling is another problem that would have been faced if seeking family permission had been decided on as a course of action.

The compilers of this report also believe that it is still necessary to protect their sources in every way possible.There is therefore no list of the dead, nor are any victims named in this report, apart from those who held high political office. Victims are referred to by their HR Data base number, or CCJP archival file, only. The original report contained a number of maps and tables at this point which were not made available to The New Zimbabwe.

C.A DISCUSSION OF HOW TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF THE 1980S DISTURBANCES, IN TERMS OF REAL NUMBERS OF VICTIMS.

The figures in the HR Data Base are clearly a base-line set of figures which can only grow in the future. Only one district in Zimbabwe was fairly comprehensively researched for this report - namely Tsholotsho. In addition, a pilot study was conducted in Matobo. Both of these studies resulted in a dramatic increase in existing knowledge of how events unfolded in these two regions in the 1980s, and both extended the named data base considerably, and allowed the incorporation of numbered victims. Numbered victims are generally excluded from all other districts.
What was also noticeable in Tsholotsho was how the gap between numbered and named victims closed as interviewing progressed, and a larger proportion of named as opposed to numbered victims began to be reported.

The lower levels of offences evident in the other districts in Zimbabwe reflect the fact that extensive research has not been done in these regions, rather than reflecting that these districts were not severely affected by events.

While the compilers of this report do not claim to have any final answers in terms of real numbers of victims in the various categories of offence, some cautious suggestions can be made. The basis of these suggestions will be discussed separately for each category of offence, with a clear difference being maintained between what may certainly be known at this stage, and what may further be supposed.

1.DEAD and MISSING

The HR Data Base has the following figures, for named victims:
Dead:1437
Missing:354
Total:1791

To this can be added a minimum of 130 Tsholotsho dead and missing and a minimum of 133 Matobo dead and missing which became apparent when the `village by village' summaries were collated.

This brings the definitely confirmed dead to 2052.

Deaths in Non-Case Study Areas in Matabeleland North: independent researchers in Lupane and Nkayi who have done extensive interviews for a different purpose in these regions in recent years, suggested that approximately 1300 dead would be a fair estimate for these two regions combined. Their intention was not specifically to "count the dead" in these regions, and they have not collected names. Their estimates are based on ward by ward estimates given to them by councillors in the general course of their interviews on other topics, but they feel these estimates are, if anything, conservative, and exclude the missing.

As this estimate was put forward by researchers of proven integrity with a known understanding of events in these districts, and no possible motive for exaggeration or misrepresentation, it seems fair to consider including it in an estimate: this would add another 1000 to the figure for the dead, bringing it to around 3000+.

There is little known about deaths in other regions in Matabeleland North, although indications are that they were considerably less affected by 5 Brigade than Tsholotsho, Lupane and Nkayi. No comment or estimate will therefore be made about these regions.

Deaths in Matabeleland South: it has already been commented that the pilot study in Matobo, which was far from comprehensive, resulted in a five-fold increase in the numbers of dead and missing. Yet prior to the case study, the named dead for Gwanda, Matobo and Bulilimamangwe were all in the range of 40-50. Judging from the CCJP archives and paralegal information, which is the only current source of data on Gwanda and Bulilimamangwe, these two districts were as severely hit in 1984 as Matobo. There are on archival files evidence of mass murders, mass graves, mass beatings and mass detentions in these two districts. We can also assume that the figure of 220 dead in Matobo is conservative, as interviewing here was limited.

In addition, there are the many eye witness accounts of Bhalagwe on file. These include both archival accounts and those recorded in the last few months. All are very consistent in referring to daily deaths at Bhalagwe. From mid-February, villagers adjacent to Antelope Mine also refer to nightly trips by trucks to the mine shaft, followed by the disposal of bodies and the throwing of grenades in afterwards.

There was a change in strategy on the part of 5 Brigade in 1984. They had apparently realised in 1983 that it was not possible to kill hundreds of well known people in front of hundreds of witnesses in their home villages, and expect the fact to remain hidden. In 1984, the new strategy of translocating many thousands of civilians and grouping them at Bhalagwe, where everyone effectively became strangers, has made it much harder now to identify either exact numbers or names of the dead. Most detainees did not know the names of those they were detained with. People can also not remember exact dates on which they witnessed a certain number of people beaten to death or shot, so it is not possible to sort out eye witness accounts in a way that prevents double counting of deaths.

One solution for those who wish to arrive at some idea of how many might have died at Bhalagwe, is to estimate 5 deaths a day, multiplied by 100 days, (Feb to May) and to decide that approximately 500 died at Bhalagwe. 5 deaths a day might well be too conservative, however. The real number could be anything between 300 and 1000.... The inability to arrive at more accurate figures at this stage is a testimony to the effectiveness of the 1984 strategy in keeping deaths anonymous. For example, one person interviewed, who was 16 years old when incarcerated at Bhalagwe, recounted how he personally helped dig the graves and helped carry and bury the corpses of 9 men, 7 of whom had been beaten to death and 2 of whom had been shot. He did not know the name of a single one of these 9 victims, nor could he say exactly how many others had died during the 10 days he was there, except to say that they were "very many". These dead were from all over Matabeleland South, and some were from Matabeleland North: only extensive interviewing in all districts will help resolve the issue of how many died at Bhalagwe.

Other evidence on the archives for Gwanda and Bulilimamangwe states that there are mass graves in both districts, mainly from 1984, but in the case of Bulilimamangwe, also from 1983, when parts of this district were adjacent to the curfew zone and affected by 5 Brigade in Matabeleland North. Judging by the pilot study in Matobo, it seems fair to estimate at least several hundred deaths in each district. Only extensive further research will come up with more accurate figures.

In the rest of Matabeleland South, including Beitbridge, deaths also occurred, although in smaller numbers. No comment or estimate will be made on these.

Those who are concerned about putting a precise figure on the dead in Matabeleland South could choose a number between 500 and 1000, and be certain that they are not exaggerating.

Deaths in the Midlands: named and numbered dead and missing for the Midlands, suggest Gweru was worst hit with around 70-80 deaths, with deaths and missing for the whole Province currently standing at a conservative 100. Archival figures for unnamed victims suggest several hundred more deaths and disappearances - no more accurate suggestion can be made than this, without extensive further research.

Deaths According to The Chronicle: While it seems reasonable in the face of conflicting reports to disregard the "General Report" claims in respect of dissident offences, the "Specific Report" figures have been borne out in part. Even this statement is not made without qualification: there were several occasions where recent interview data convincingly attributed offences to the army or CIO when The Chronicle attributed these offences to dissidents. However, in Tsholotsho, while the route to the final number may have differed, figures arrived at in interview data and in The Chronicle were fairly close in terms of how many people were specifically killed by dissidents. In addition, there are some murders that can be uncontentiously attributed to dissidents in the non-case-study districts, and which have not been taken into estimate yet, including the deaths of commercial farmers.

The Chronicle may therefore be conservatively assumed to provide support for the deaths of at least 100 to 150 people at the hands of dissidents, which have not been factored in elsewhere.

FINAL ESTIMATE: The figure for the dead and missing is not less than 3000. This statement is now beyond reasonable doubt. Adding up the conservative suggestions made above, the figure is reasonably certainly 3750 dead. More than that it is still not possible to say, except to allow that the real figure for the dead could be possibly double 3000, or even higher. Only further research will resolve the issue.

The number of dead is always the issue in which there is the most interest, wherever in the world human rights offences are perpetrated. While such a focus is understandable, it should not be considered the only category of offence to give an indication of the scale of a period of disturbance. From the point of view of this report, compilers are concerned with the plight of those still alive. Of course, the loss of a breadwinner compounds the plight for his/her survivors, and in this way the number of dead from the 1980s indicates the number of families having to survive without financial assistance from able-bodied husbands, wives and children. But many other families who perhaps suffered no deaths were left with permanent health or emotional problems which, a decade later, have compounded seriously on their families in monetary and social terms.

2.PROPERTY LOSS
The HR Data Base currently has on record 680 homesteads destroyed. A reading of the "village by village" summary of Tsholotsho will confirm that this figure is conservative. Researchers in Lupane and Nkayi have also referred to hut burnings, and the burnings of entire villages, particularly in Lupane. What this means in terms of final figures is hard to say: therefore no estimate will be made.

Properties were also destroyed in Matabeleland South which are not yet formally recorded, and the ZANU-PF Youth riots affecting the Midlands in 1985, and the property destruction resulting from this has been documented, for example in LCFHR. Readers of the report should therefore bear in mind that the figure of 680 homesteads destroyed is far from complete.

In addition, there was the damage caused by dissidents. The Chronicle reports a multitude of bus burnings and the destruction of dam and road building equipment. Cooperative ventures were also destroyed on occasion, and commercial farmers had livestock shot and property destroyed. Again, to try to assess this now in precise monetary terms would be a complicated and somewhat arbitrary procedure. The section following (Part Three, II) on legal damages attempts to make this sort of assessment on ten specific cases only, to illustrate how such damage might be assessed.

Perhaps the most significant type of "property loss" to those in affected regions, is the fact that throughout the 1980s, when the government was investing in development projects in other parts of the country, Matabeleland was losing out, on the true premise that the disturbances made development difficult.


3. DETENTION
Possible numbers of detainees are also very difficult to assess at this stage. Some attempt was made in the case study on Matobo to estimate a figure for those detained at Bhalagwe. Based on an average stay of two weeks, and an average holding capacity of 2000, it was assumed that any number of civilians between 8000 and double this figure could have passed through Bhalagwe. As some reports put the holding capacity at considerably higher than 2000 at its peak, this assumption does not seem unreasonable, but it is an assumption nonetheless.

Apart from Bhalagwe, both documents on file and lists of named victims in Chikurubi in 1985 suggest certainly hundreds and likely thousands of detainees over the period from 1982 to 1987. The detention centres at St Pauls in Lupane and in Tsholotsho operated from mid 1982, and certainly hundreds were detained in 1982 alone. Africa Confidential refers to 700 detained at Tsholotsho in 1982, and St Paul's detention centre was also large. There are also reference to 1000 detained in Bulawayo in March 1983.

In 1985 and 1986 there were further detentions, both before and after the general elections. Elected ZAPU officials were picked up in rural areas, and hundreds were detained in urban centres too. LCFHR refers to 1300 detained in Bulawayo in early 1985 and 400+ detained in Bulawayo in August 1985. There are official documents signed by police confirming large numbers of detainees. For example, CCJP wrote to Nkayi Police station inquiring about the whereabouts of a certain man who had been detained. The police wrote back saying they had detained 80 people that day in Nkayi, and most had been subsequently released. They had no record of this particular man.

Again, there is no easy formula for arriving at a figure for detainees. It seems reasonable to assume at least 10 000 were detained, some for a few days and some for far longer, between 1982 and 1987. This is an assumption based on what is known now of the general unfolding of events, and the holding capacities of various detention centres.


4. TORTURED/ WOUNDED
Named torture victims, inclusive of those assaulted, stand at around 2000.
In addition to these named victims, the Tsholotsho case study identified 70 villages involved in mass beatings, and 4 mass beatings at railway sidings. The Matobo case study identified another 25 mass beatings.
This is a total of 99 known mass beatings. A figure of 50 per mass beating was decided on as reasonable (see Part One, II), which would mean 4950 further assault victims.
This puts the total number of those fairly definitely known to have been physically tortured at around 7000.

Mass beatings were also a definite phenomenon of 5 Brigade behaviour in Lupane and Nkayi in Matabeleland North, and Silobela in the Midlands, as well as in Bulilimamangwe and Gwanda in Matabeleland South, but no estimate will be placed on how many people this may have affected.

In addition, reports of Bhalagwe make it clear that detention here was synonymous with beatings, usually daily. Physical torture of one kind or another was almost mandatory, not only at Bhalagwe but in all detention centres and jails.

Several thousand more beating victims could therefore safely be assumed, but precisely how many remains to be established.

CONCLUSION
The above estimates are offered merely as estimates. A careful reading of the Historical Overview will make it clear that the evidence on record supports the general claims being made here in terms of likely numbers of victims, and will in fact suggest that these claims are conservative. But only further comprehensive research will establish more accurate numbers for all categories of offence.
HUMAN REMAINS - RECOMMENDATIONS ON THEIR POSSIBLE RECOVERY

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