A COLD JUNE
In Zimbabwe, the winter season peaks in the month of June. But far from the usual cold weather the
month brings, Zimbabweans across the country experienced a worsening economic situation
characterised by price increases and inflation.
On the human rights front, the situation was no better, as the country continued to find itself sliding
further into an undoubted military state as confirmed by the prevalence of human rights violations
perpetrated by the police and the army with artless impunity.
For one Zimbabwean from Harare, who made a contribution while narrating an ordeal in the hands
of the police, the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown measures in April have meant nothing more
than an excuse for the State to descend on its citizens with ruthless abandon.
“Things have been bad in Zimbabwe for a while and as a vendor I am used to the running battles
with the police, but since April when the lockdown started, I have witnessed and experienced more
harassment than ever before. June was the worst as for some of us in the informal sector attempted
to start working again, day in day out, we have faced unending harassment but all we are trying to
do is to earn an honest living,” she said.
Her ordeal is the story of many Zimbabweans, who according to Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)
human rights monitoring records of June 2020, make up 4,211 of those who experienced
harassment and intimidation, attempted abduction, torture, rape and sexual assault, attempted
murder, displacement, unlawful detention and malicious damage to property.
The perpetrators of all these, are, in a worrying trend, the very same insitutions that should protect
citizens and give every Zimbabwean a sense of security.
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