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Zimbabwe post-election violence: family seeks answers


Zimbabwe’s elections might be over, but for some families the pain of losing their loved ones to the deadly post-election violence is horrifying.

Jinty Rubentein’s brother, Gavin Charles, was one of the victims.

She and other families of the six dead are now searching for answers.

“He was shot in the arm and in the pelvis , he was unarmed. He wasn’t chanting or anything, they shot him in the street like a dog. No one came to ask us questions or sympathize or even offer compensation”, sister of a deceased protester, Jinty Rubentein said.

Jinty added that all her late brother wanted was a better life. ‘‘He said he’d rather die standing than live on his knees. He was only there for that, and they shot him twice! He wasn’t armed’‘, Rubentein added.

After what observers described as a peaceful vote on Monday, supporters of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)- Alliance took to the streets to protest results by the electoral commission which announced President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner.

Security personnel clashed with the opposition protesters and six people were killed in the process. The following day, the police raided premises of the MDC and arrested twenty people who were later charged with public violence.

Jinty Rubentein expressed worry over the turn of events in a first national election since Robert Mugabe resigned from office in November 2017.

“It’s scary that people can use live ammo on people – it’s scary. Tear gas I can understand; water cannons I can understand – but live ammo? So it’s a military state now?”, Rubentein queried.

On Saturday, twenty four people, including eight women, appeared before the Harare court, which postponed hearing until Monday to decide on their possible provisional release.

Amnesty International has expressed concern about the “arbitrary arrest of at least 60 people.

Zimbabwe’s president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised an independent investigation into the violence, while denouncing methods used by the police.


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