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Fear grips Zimbabweans as crackdown continues

Fear grips Zimbabweans as crackdown continues

Zimbabwe

23 year old Tafadzwa said he’s been traumatized after Zimbabwean police hit him with rifle butts.

Tafadzwa told AFP that the police grabbed him when he mistakenly went to answer a call at his doorstep despite a curfew in Kadoma, the eight largest city in central Zimbabwe.

The streets of Kadoma are virtually empty due to a curfew. Soldiers and police patrol, while inhabitants lock up in their homes to avoid beatings. 

Yes, they (the police and the soldiers) stopped (beat him) when my parents were crying. When my mother and my brother came out, they started crying, saying" No, this guy ... " is his house, he does not do anything outside.

“Yes, they (the police and the soldiers) stopped (beat him) when my parents were crying. When my mother and my brother came out, they started crying, saying” No, this guy … “ is his house, he does not do anything outside “, he said.

Tafadzwa, like many other victims, do not dare to go to the hospital for fear of being arrested. He said he did not go to a job interview either.

“I have not left the house since, I’m too scared,” the unemployed said while opening a workbook filled with complex equations, his favorite hobby. 

Zimbabwean Human Rights Forum, an NGO and witnesses said soldiers shot and killed 20 year olds in Kadoma.

Kadoma, bears the scar of last week’s violence. Broken windows have been replaced by pieces of cardboard. The roof of the ruling party’s local office, Zanu-PF, has been was gutted by fire. 

“It may take even a year because the stock that was in the store is worth between $ 70,000 and about $ 80,000 – the equipment that was lost, but fortunately we were not injured , we managed to escape”, said a store owner, Blessing Mushonga.

The crackdown continues in prison and in the courts.

Behind bars, people who were recently arrested receive low food rations. They sleep on the floor and some need care, according to an officer who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

The official said “ in court, Zanu-PF supporters pointed relatives of those arrested and the police arrested them”.

“It’s so sad,” he said, “the government has sent armed soldiers to attack its own citizens.“ 

Hikes in fuel prices announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has angered Zimbabweans who are exhausted by years of economic crisis.

The NGO said at least 12 people have been killed in the Southern African nation since violent protests begun.

AFP

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