by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations (UN) has appealed to Zimbabwean authorities to sanction perpetrators of murder, violence, rape and unlawful detention following crackdowns on anti-government protests.
UN’s appeal comes after government assured it would investigate the violations, which are largely blamed on state security forces. Children are among victims of the crackdowns.
The UN System in Zimbabwe stated the investigations should result in holding the perpetrators to account and bringing justice to those affected.
It called for assistance to families who lost loved ones, due process of law to those in custody and provision of health, psycho-social and legal services to victims.
“Acts of violence, rape and other forms of violence are heinous crimes and a serious threat to every individual’s rights to life and dignity,” the UN stated.
The organisation reminded authorities that the safety, security and dignity of every person were universal human rights enshrined in the country’s Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
UN pledged to assist Zimbabwe to ensure that equitable and quality assistance was provided to survivors and those affected by the recent skirmishes.
It offered to support national peace building efforts.
Zimbabwe’s socio-economic problems worsened after the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced 150 percent in the price of fuel.
The announcement, coinciding with a national strike, triggered violent protests countrywide.
At least 12 protesters were killed as the military opened live ammunition on protesters.
Hundreds of suspects remain behind bars for their alleged participation in looting and vandalism that characterised the protests.
– CAJ News