Fearful August 1 violence victims, families fail to speak at commemorations

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By Leopold Munhende

SCORES of victims and some family members of those gunned down by the army during the August 1, 2018 post-election violence in Harare, Thursday failed to speak-out at a church service to remember their loved ones out of fear on how the State apparatus could react.

Families of four of those killed on the day last year were represented at the Zimbabwe Devine Destiny (ZDD) organised event in Highfields, Harare.

Six people were killed while dozens more were injured in the onslaught that spotlighted on tainted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sincerity in breaking the country from its bitter past under former President Robert Mugabe.

Bishop Ancelimo Magaya, who presided over the event, said their fear was a clear indication that Zimbabwe was not yet free.

“Zimbabwe still has a cloud of fear; we had victims in our midst but they could not speak in fear of what might happen after they leave this place,” said Magaya.

“We will now try to help them to gather courage so that they speak and embarrass this oppressive system.

“This is a very clear indication in our country that people are not yet free and we would like to charge and admonish our government to make sure that they are not facilitators of terror. We had about four families that we witnessed.”

Families of the deceased gave touching testimonies of their late loved ones during hearings by a government appointed Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances.