FOLLOWING a spate of rape cases, allegedly committed by the military and police, local women rights groups have come together in a campaign against the human rights violations and are calling on people to wear black tomorrow as a protest message to the authorities.
BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
In the past few weeks, there has been grisly reports of alleged rape and sexual assault of women and girls by members of the uniformed forces in most parts of Harare.
Many women were also subjected to humiliating acts and some were beaten with batons on their backsides, thighs and breasts.
Trending under hashtags like #OurBodiesNot WarZones, #SheSpeaksOut, #blackwednesday, #InjureOneInjureAll, #shutdownatrocities, the campaign by Women’s
Academy for Leadership, Political Excellence (Walpe) and Justice for Women Zimbabwe is aimed at highlighting the brutal acts and compelling authorities to bring to book the rogue military men.
Organisers of the campaign have said men should also join in the Black Wednesday campaign since rape affected everyone.
“Violence against women affects all of us. It can be your sister, mother, friend, colleague or neighbour. So we need to hold hands together as Zimbabweans and call on the government to put a stop to the raping and sexual violence against women,” the statement read.
Yesterday, Home Affairs ministry said they had only received one such report from Chitungwiza.
In a statement, the Home Affairs minister Cain Matema said they were concerned about the video taken by iTV, which showed rape victims speaking on camera about the brutal attacks.
He said investigations would be instituted and perpetrators brought to book.
He made an impassioned plea to citizens to report any cases of rape to the police and assured the nation that these would be thoroughly investigated.
The minister admitted that the human rights situation had worsened with reports of police, the military and Zanu PF militia harassing people in their homes.