24
Jan

WALPE condemns the rape and torture of women during the 14-16 January 2019 stay-away.

Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE), condemns in the strongest terms the rape and torture of women across the country on 14- 16 January 2018 during the national shut down. iTV news, an international credible news agency released a heart rending video of women narrating horror stories of how they were tortured, raped and psychologically tormented at the hands of soldiers. Men and children were not spared of the violence that saw 12 people shot dead by the army.

 

Our country has a dark past of military abuse of women during periods of conflict. From Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s to the 2008 political violence cases of women raped, assaulted and murdered are many. As WALPE, we hold that violence such as is being witnessed in Zimbabwe is at the centre of curtailing women’s active and effective participation in politics and leadership and calls upon the Government to guarantee justice for all the women affected by the ongoing clampdown by the military.

 

We further demand the arrest of soldiers and all security officers who committed torture, rape, murder, assault and robbery. Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy and we demand that the Government respect the country’s constitution and international laws that protect the rights of citizens. WALPE further urges the Government to read the report compiled by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and abide by it. Lawlessness by security arms of Government cannot be tolerated in a democracy.

 

WALPE further appeals to more women who were sexually assaulted during this period to come out and seek treatment as most of them were subjected to unprotected sex thus exposing them to sexually transmitted diseases.

 

It is unfortunate that it is the women now who have to take on the role of giving care to the hundreds injured who did not get medical care because of fearing further victimisation. Mothers, wives, sisters and girlfriends now have the enormous duty of giving counselling to traumatized children who were tortured physically and psychologically. Women are having to conjure answers on why such horrible things are happening inside the homes which children take to be havens of safety and security. This is the greatest emotional trauma women are having and will leave permanent scars which will never ultimately heal.

 

Please find below link to the itv rape story:

https://www.itv.com/news/2019-01-23/claims-of-rape-against-soldiers-amid-zimbabwe-unrest/