by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe,
ON THE 80S ATROCITIES IN MATABELELAND AND THE MIDLANDS
DAMNING EVIDENCE THEY DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE
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:
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
one thousand victims were validated from more than one source, and
more than 300 were validated by 3 or more sources.
THE CHRONICLE DATA BASE
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" are the six monthly statements in Parliament, giving
total numbers of dissident offences without clear indication of
where they occurred.
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.
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
data were computer-sorted along various parameters for assessment.
It was sorted alphabetically by:
2. Year and Month (numerical sorting)
3. Type of offence
4. Surname and then first names of victim
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.
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.
mentioned previously, data from The Chronicle were kept separately,
but were sorted and counted in the same way as other data.
I -Human Rights (HR) Data Base: the District by District Distribution
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.
can be found immediately following the Tables.
accompanies the graphs, and there is a further discussion in which
the possible numbers of real victims is assessed.
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,
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
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.
HR DATA BASE - SUMMARY OF OFFENCES BY DISTRICT AND TYPE OF OFFENCE
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
MATOBO 87 5 30 0 1872
(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
BUBI (INYATHI) 21 2 23
NYAMANDLOVU 46 4 18 (S)61
TSHOLOTSHO 621 148 494 268 0 (S)530
(By)9 138 2 446
LUPANE 275 41 58 2 158 (S)186
(By)1 6 774
NKAYI 117 24 5 116 (S)39
HWANGE 5 1 7 (S)3 16
VIC FALLS 5 1 6
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
D Assault Rape TOTAL
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
MUTARE 2 2
BOTSWANA 1 2 10 (S)1 14
TOTALS 1437 354 680 366 2713 1537 159 7 246
OF HR DATA BASE OFFENCES IN COUNTRY: 7 246
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]
YEARS PERPETRATOR Dead
X Mis s
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
OF HR DATA BASE OFFENCES IN COUNTRY: 7 246
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
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
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
CIO 1 18 89 17 1 126
ZRP 1 1 2
PISI 2 2
ARMED MEN 1 4 5
DISSIDENTS 3 4 S:3
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
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
CHRONICLE - JUNE 1982 TO MARCH 1988: "SPECIFIC REPORTS".
SUMMARY OF ALL OFFENCES BY DISTRICT AND TYPE OF OFFENCE.
R TOTA LS
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
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
LOCATIONS INCLUDING UNKNOWN
CHIPINGE 2 9 9 7 27
CHIMANIMANI 2 2 4
NYANGA 3 3
MASVINGO 2 2
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
CHRONICLE, JUNE 1982 TO MARCH 1988: "SPECIFIC REPORTS":
DISSIDENT OFFENCES AND ARMY OFFENCES BY YEAR
- A: DISSIDENT OFFENCES
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
- B: OFFENCES BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, INCLUDING ALL ARMY AND POLICE
UNITS, AND ALSO ZANU-PF YOUTH.
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
were NO REPORTS of property detroyed by government agencies, although
`rioters' are acknowledged in 1985.
were NO REPORTS of offences by any government agencies after 1985.
TOTAL OFFENCES IN COUNTRY = 1238
CHRONICLE : JAN 1983 - DEC 1986
"GENERAL REPORTS" ON DISSIDENT ATROCITIES
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
1984 - JULY 1984No report on offences between July 1984 and Jan
45 civilians killed
1985 - JULY 1985JULY 1985 - JAN 1986
45 killed103 killed
40 raped57 raped
215 robberies263 robberies
plus millions in property damage
1986 1987 - NO GENERAL REPORT
116 civilians killed
210 robberies, worth $47 000
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
"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.
CHRONICLE: OFFICIAL REFERENCES TO NUMBERS OF DISSIDENTS IN OPERATION,
OR KILLED OR CAPTURED, JUNE 1982 - MAR 1988
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
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
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."
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.
Sekeramayi calls stories of army atrocities "malicious".
DEC 45 dissidents killed, "specific reports" totalled.
10 dissidents killed.
APRIL Munyaradzi denies many civilians are seeking medical help.
Locals are reported to be capturing and killing dissidents. JAN
DEC 31 dissidents killed, "specific reports" totalled.
UNITY - Dec
AUG 4 killed 1988
OCT 3 killed, 1 injured FEB 2 killed, 122 surrender
DISSIDENTS ACCORDING TO THE CHRONICLE: 800 (approx) B.GRAPHS AND
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
DISCUSSION OF HOW TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF THE 1980S DISTURBANCES,
IN TERMS OF REAL NUMBERS OF VICTIMS.
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.
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.
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.
HR Data Base has the following figures, for named victims:
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.
brings the definitely confirmed dead to 2052.
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
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
the rest of Matabeleland South, including Beitbridge, deaths also
occurred, although in smaller numbers. No comment or estimate will
be made on these.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
thousand more beating victims could therefore safely be assumed,
but precisely how many remains to be established.
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