#July31: MDC-Alliance says 105 victimised by state

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By Alois Vinga

AN MDC-Alliance human rights dossier claims that a total 105 people were victimised nationally by the State in connection with the foiled July 31 anti-government demonstrations.

The report claims the rights violations took different forms and these include torture, abductions, arrests and stifling freedoms of expression and opinion among others.

One of the victims recorded in the dossier Tawanda Muchehiwa (22), a third-year journalism student who was allegedly abducted by suspected state security agents driving an unmarked vehicle in Bulawayo’s CBD on the afternoon of July 30, 2020.

“He was dumped three days later near his house in the early morning hours of Sunday July 2, 2020 and doctors reported that he had suffered acute kidney damage,” reads the report.

According to the document, Harare had the highest number of cases at 38. Bulawayo Province 16 cases and Midlands Province recorded 9 cases.

The report says Manicaland Province recorded only one case.

Matabeleland South Province recorded seven cases while Mashonaland East Province recorded five cases.

Masvingo province recorded seven cases with Mashonaland West being the second highest after recording 19 cases.

Most of the human rights victims recorded in the provinces are senior opposition party officials, pressure group activists, media practitioners and in some instances, lawyers.

The human rights violations which have been amplified on social media under the #ZimbabweLivesMatters on twitter have further tainted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s image locally and abroad.

Pressure is being piled by regional countries and international organisations for the Zimbabwe government to reform and protect citizens’ human rights.

The tense situation in Zimbabwe had prompted South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa to dispatch special envoys to engage the country’s key political actors in a bid to end the crisis.

However, the Mnangagwa administration has dismissed accusations of rights abuses describing them as a ploy by opposition forces in Zimbabwe and abroad to soil its reputation in order to justify unconstitutionally removing an elected government from power.