The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has said it attended to 172 people between Monday and Wednesday, of which 68 had gunshot wounds, with the affected individuals sustaining severe injuries which required urgent surgery in most cases.
By Phyllis Mbanje
The remainder of the cases ranged from assaults with sharp objects, booted feet, baton sticks, sjamboks and tarmac abrasions.
ZADHR said it was also deeply worried by cases of dog bites following the alleged unleashing of police dogs on those in police custody in Kadoma.
Three such cases have been documented.
“This constitutes a serious violation of human rights as the State is supposed to guarantee the protection of those in police custody,” ZADHR said in a statement.
The rights doctors also said they had witnessed with shock and condemnation the dragging of patients with life-threatening conditions to court.
“There are also alleged cases of patients who had chest trauma (haemopneumothorax) and fractured limbs (femur), who were forcibly taken from the hospital to attend court despite the advice of doctors,” the doctors said.
The nationwide protests, which began on Monday, were in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s announcement of a fuel price increase of 150%.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and social movements called for the three-day national stayaway, which triggered the protests.
The government retaliated by using live ammunition and indiscriminately assaulting people.