‘Protesters shot, eyes gouged’

SUSPECTED protesters during this week’s three-day national stayaway were allegedly shot at from close range, with some having their eyes gouged.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

The atmosphere in the country is tense, as some of the victims are still suffering from the wounds sustained during the crisis.

“We went to visit some of the victims at Belvedere Medical Centre and Warren Park (in Harare), and what we witnessed there was human rights abuses. Some of the victims were shot and others had their eyes gouged. These are just innocent people who were taken from their homes and had not participated in the violence,” a source told NewsDay Weekender yesterday.

“We heard that some people dressed in military uniforms came to their houses and started assaulting them, and even told them to tell their leader (MDC) Nelson Chamisa that they should not complain even if they are hungry.”

The sources said the killings and assaults were a violation of section 60 of the Constitution and highlighted that people had now become prisoners of conscience.

“We visited some of the funerals in Kuwadzana, Epworth and Chitungwiza, and what we saw is some of the people there have now become prisoners of conscience. If you go to various high-density suburbs, you will see that people are crying and are now living in fear of their lives,” the source said.

“Being an MDC supporter is now a crime in this country. This is a clear violation of section 60 of the Constitution and these are human rights abuses and we can say these are international crimes against humanity. I don’t think these were military personnel because I don’t think our military will do something like that.”

In Kuwadzana, some of the residents left their homes to seek refuge in nearby mountains as their homes had now become “no-man’s land”.

Witnesses said people were dragged from their homes door-to-door and beaten up by soldiers who left some for dead.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda, on Thursday said credible reports showed that the State carefully organised Zanu PF youths to infiltrate the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions-organised mass stayaway, and looted shops for their personal benefit.

However, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo refuted the claim, urging the MDC to approach the courts if they had the evidence.

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