By Elvis Dube
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) has condemned government for the wanton inhuman post-election August 1 2018 military killings that resulted in the death of six innocent civilians.
The rights group argued that state violence and murder has become the lifestyle for Zimbabwean leadership.
Speaking at the August 1 commemorations in Harare Dr Frances Lovemore, the director of the Counselling Services Unit said, “You cannot bury the truth and realities of human rights violations.”
Dr Francis reiterated that it was government’s obligation to account for who brought in the army on August 1 2018 and was the proper procedure followed.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights executive director Ms Roselyn Hanzi said government has held no member of the security forces accountable for the acts of violence committed against Zimbabweans on August 1, 2018.
“Up to date, government has failed to deliver justice, compensation for August 1 victims that were brutally killed and injured and no one has been held accountable for the violations committed against people.
“We need to reflect on what has been done from the recommendations that came from the Mohlante commission,” she said.
Blessing Gorejena the executive director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum stressed the importance of reparations and remedies for survivors and family members of victims of the August 1 killings.
“The government of Zimbabwe has the responsibility to ensure adequate redress of August 1 victims.
“Reparations should be victim centred, and that truth telling is the corner stone for effective restitution, we cannot talk about justice if we do not bring perpetrators to book,” she said.
Gorejena noted that victims faced short term and long term effects including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and loss of economic activities.
“Compensation of victims is complex given the diversity and extent of injuries. Only victims should come up with a framework for compensation,” she said.
Gorejena also questioned the government’s sincerity to remedy the effects of August military killings as it taking too long to assist and have adequate compensation for the August 1 victims.
One of the victims present at commemorations Norman Matara narrated the horrific ordeal he and his colleagues encountered in the health sector because of the August 1 shootings.
“At Parirenyatwa Hospital health practitioners were even afraid to attend to us the victims because the situation was terrible.
“A stray bullet shot one of my friends and severed his spinal cord, and at the age of 21 he is now paralysed you can imagine how these devastating injuries he sustained have negatively changed his life,” he said.
Matara reiterated that were also victims of the massive police and military crackdown launched thwart the January national shutdown over steep fuel price hikes.
“We also experienced torture in January were security forces were breaking into people’s houses, assaulting civilians with the sharp objects, piecing people on their sores.
“Security authorities brutally beat people until their limbs are broken, some people got into severe tissue destruction went into renal failure that resulted in death,” he said.
Another victim of the August 1 shooting said a year after the saddening event, a bullet was still lodged in his body.