70 year old woman latest casualty of ZANU PF brutality

By Violet Gonda
9 July 2008

The MDC has announced the death of another victim of the state sponsored violence - a 70 year old woman who died on Monday from burns she sustained when she was thrown onto her cooking fire.

The MDC said in an email; “A wonderfully brave old lady, died from terrible burns to her body. She had fought the agony of her injuries for nearly a month. Attached are the pictures of what 18 Zanu PF youth did to her because she was a known MDC activist in Bindura.’ After beating her, they threw her into her cooking fire.”

This is the second time this week that pictures of badly beaten or burnt victims have emerged exposing the brutal nature of Mugabe’s regime. The decomposing burnt body of MDC driver Joshua Bakacheza was found, adding to the growing lists of widespread killings, torture and intimidation of MDC activists. Over a hundred have been assassinated, tens of thousands tortured and injured and hundreds of thousands displaced. The MDC reports that there are at least 1500 political detainees in Zimbabwe’s prisons.

The political and economic crisis has forced at least three million people to flee to neighboring countries. This exodus has recently increased and a church in central Johannesburg that offers sanctuary to Zimbabweans says for the first time orphaned children are arriving, on their own, after their families have been killed. There is now severe starvation in Zimbabwe with basic food stuffs only found on the parallel market, at exorbitant prices. But the regime is still using food as a political weapon and is preventing aid agencies from providing food to the needy.

Meanwhile worldwide condemnation continues to grow and a group of African civil organizations have announced the launch of a continental campaign on Saturday, in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. The group which is made up of the World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Amnesty International and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP), says the demonstration will be an expression of concern for the violations committed against the people of Zimbabwe.

The group plans to hold vigils outside some Zimbabwean embassies on the African continent and assemble outside government buildings or Houses of Parliament, in their respective countries.

A statement by Amnesty International said Saturday’s event will be the beginning of an Africa-wide campaign at the grassroots level, allowing African voices to speak out about injustice in Zimbabwe.

Adelaide Sosseh, GCAP Co-chair based in The Gambia said: “We urge African leaders to call for space to be opened up so that civil society can play a role in tackling Zimbabwe’s current crisis – we are needed now more than ever as millions of people face hunger through growing food insecurity brought on by mis-governance.”

“The widespread killings, torture and assault of perceived opposition supporters must come to an end in Zimbabwe. Concrete action is long overdue and African leaders must end their silent acquiescence,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Demands by the Pan African groups include calling for investigations into human rights violations and the posting of human rights monitors to report on the current situation

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