Zimbabwe army soldiers stepped up attacks on civilians in the month of June as the country’s power-sharing government showed little desire to act to stop rising political violence and human rights abuses, non-governmental organisations have said.
Zimbabwe Human Right NGO Forum said cases of political violence and rights abuses surged to 125 in June compared to 99 incidents recorded the previous May.
“The month of June saw the levels of organised violence being sustained with little indication that the Government of National Unity (GNU) was committed to ending human rights violations in the country,” the Forum said.
It added: “Of note in the month of June, is the increase in incidents of violence reportedly perpetrated by members of the army against civilians. It is alarming that some members of the ZNA appear to be a law unto themselves and continue to harass defenceless civilians.”
The Forum brings together 17 local groups involved in human rights work and assisting victims of organised violence. It regularly publishes reports on politically motivated violence in strife-torn Zimbabwe.
The NGO coalition said youth militia from Robert Mugabe’s ZANU (PF) party continued to target supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s former opposition MDC party for harassment and abuse.
Farm invasions have also continued, with war veterans and top ZANU PF
officials ignoring calls by Tsvangirai to stop evicting Zimbabwe’s few remaining white farmers.
The Forum said the police have maintained a tight grip on independent
journalists and on civic activity, violently breaking up peaceful marches and demonstrations perceived as opposed to Mugabe and ZANU (PF).