Hopes run high that justice will finally be served Zimbabwe mass rape
Allegations made against 200 men who acted under Mugabe regime
There is hope that the 200 men alleged in a Zimbabwe mass rape will finally be brought to justice. An investigation is under way in South Africa concerning the defendants into some 200 men in widespread rape throughout Zimbabwe during the tumultuous 2008 election period.
'Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe's Zimbabwe,' is a grim 2009 report that includes the testimonies of 84 women. No one knows exactly how many women were raped in 2008, but estimates range from 'hundreds and possibly thousands,' according to the report.
The agency AIDS-Free World interviewed 84 Zimbabwean women who swore in affidavits that they were raped by men, sometimes in gangs. The men were associated with Mugabe's Zanu-PF party during 2008 in an alleged strategy to influence the election.
All 84 women interviewed were members of the current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
The evidence given to South African authorities contains the names of more than 200 alleged perpetrators linked to Zanu-PF, as well as testimony from doctors, eyewitnesses, and civil society organizations.
The probe marks the first time that rape is solely being scrutinized as a crime against humanity under a legal term known as "universal jurisdiction." The principle allows and obliges nations under international law to investigate and prosecute citizens from other countries, if the crimes are considered particularly heinous.
With Zimbabwe's general elections expected this year and Saturday's referendum on a new constitution, fears of new political violence are growing.
"Contacts" within Zimbabwe are reporting that gang-rape "base camps," similar to those established in 2008 - are now being reconstituted with elections on the horizon.
"That's why it's important that this story is told," Lewis said. "The message we're sending to Mugabe's regime is: 'You cannot get away with rape as a strategy for re-election,'" co-founder of AIDS-Free World Stephen Lewis says.
"Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe's Zimbabwe," is a grim 2009 report that includes the testimonies of 84 women. No one knows exactly how many women were raped in 2008, but estimates range from "hundreds and possibly thousands," according to the report.
Many claimed that they were abducted and taken to camps where they were gang-raped, sometimes for days, by men who wore Zanu-PF caps and T-shirts, who chanted party songs and slogans, and who denounced Tsvangirai's MDC.
Some women said they were often raped in front of husbands, children, and other family members.
"The women - who were in every instance utterly devastated, some of them destroyed physically, psychologically, emotionally - they said to us, 'What we want more than anything else in the world is justice,'" Lewis says.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Zimbabwe, mass rape, investigation, testimony, women
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Africa News
- Elephant kills poacher for HIS ivory
- Refugees hiding in swamps face illness, death as South Sudan blocks humanitarian aid
- Al Qaeda now possesses deadly surface to air missiles
- 'NO NILE, NO EGYPT' War of words escalates over proposed Ethiopian dam
- Young girls in Tanzania married off by parents for money
- Ancient Egyptian city of Heracleion to share its sunken secret at long last
- Ancient Egyptians wore jewelry made from 5,000 year old meteorites
- Agencies rush to vaccinate more than a million in refugee camps in Kenya
- Why the USA needs a business strategy for al Qaeda too
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?