Zimbabwe: A trail of violence after the ballot

June 3, 2008

Zimbabwe: A trail of violence after the ballot

Moreover, despite the involvement of both the MDC and ZANU-PF, Amnesty International notes that Zimbabwean police appear to be operating in a discriminatory and partisan manner, allowing ZANU-PF supporters and "war veterans" to perpetrate human rights abuses with impunity.


Case studies

Schools used as camps to plan attacks and torture MDC supporters in Mberengwa, Mazowe and Mount Darwin districts

Amnesty International was told by victims or their family members that in Mberengwa, Mazowe and Mount Darwin districts "war veterans" and ZANU-PF supporters used schools to plan and commit human rights abuses. "War veterans" were reportedly camped at Mabika primary school, Chomusenda secondary school and Chebvute primary school in Mberengwa. They were also reportedly camped at Chawona primary school in Mazowe and Nyakatondo primary school in Mount Darwin. At these schools people suspected to have voted for the MDC are forced to attended so-called "re-education" sessions and severely beaten.


Abduction and killing of Tonderai Ndira in Harare

Tonderai Ndira, a local MDC activist, was abducted from his home in Mabvuku, a low income suburb of Harare on 14 May in the early hours of the morning. Reports indicate that about nine armed men in plain clothes forced him into a white Toyota truck and drove away. His badly mutilated body was reportedly found in Goromonzi a week after he was abducted.11


Tonderai Ndira, with 31 other MDC activists, was tortured by state agents while in detention in 2007. He was detained for more than two months in Harare Central Remand Prison before the charges against him were dropped. Since 2000, he had been arrested or abducted more than 30 times by men believed to be state agents.


Elderly couple abducted in Mashonaland Central province

Amnesty International received a report of the alleged abduction of Sinoia Pfebve (79) and his wife Serena Pfebve (76) on 13 May by people believed to be "war veterans" in the Mukumbura area of Mt. Darwin district. They are believed to have been taken to Nyakatondo primary school where the abductors were camped. The couple was released by their abductors on 17 May following international pressure. The Pfebve family have political connections to the MDC: the couple's son, Elliot Pfebve, was an MDC candidate in the parliamentary election in 2000 and in a by-election in 2001.


"War veterans" compel local young men to join in carrying out acts of violence in Midlands and Mashonaland Central

Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that "war veterans" had threatened local youths, mainly unemployed young men in their late teens and twenties, with violence if they did not join them in carrying out acts of violence and intimidation against alleged MDC supporters. For example, in Mberengwa in April, a group of "war veterans" told young men at Mt. Belingwe farm that their families12would lose their plots if they did not join them in beating up suspected MDC supporters in the district. Youths who reportedly refused were labelled MDC supporters and beaten.