Zimbabwe Finds 10 More Dead Elephants, Suspects Bacteria

Zimbabwe is home to vast gold and mineral reserves, including diamonds and platinum.
Zimbabwe is home to vast gold and mineral reserves, including diamonds and platinum.

 

Zimbabwe wildlife authorities on Thursday said they suspect ten more elephants succumbed to a bacterial infection that killed 12 young pachyderms last week.

The latest carcasses were discovered on Tuesday and Wednesday near the northwestern Pandamasuwe Forest, where the previous 12 were found.

“We now have a total of 22 elephants that have died,” parks and wildlife authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo told AFP on Thursday.

“We have taken samples for testing but we suspect they died from the same cause as the 12 that were found dead last week.”

Laboratory results suggest the first dozen — discovered between Hwange National Park and the resort town of Victoria Falls — were killed by a bacteria.

Park authorities believe the elephants, aged between two and six, were too short to eat leaves from treetops and may have ingested the bacteria by grazing on infected plants.

They ruled out poaching because the animals were found with their tusks intact.

Zimbabwe has more than 84,000 elephants. Scores of elephants have succumbed to starvation and lack of water in recent years.

Others have been poisoned by poachers for their ivory, used to make ornaments and traditional medicine in Asia and the Middle East.

At least 300 elephants died of cyanide poisoning at water holes in Hwange in 2013.

Neighbouring Botswana, home to the world’s largest elephant population of around 130,000, lost around 300 elephants early this year. They are thought to have succumbed to natural toxins.

AFP

Zimbabwe Govt Denies Crisis As Inflation Jumps To 840 Percent

A South African police member grabs a protestor during their picket against the government of Zimbabwe’s alleged state corruption, media freedom and the deteriorating economy outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria on August 7, 2020. (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP)

 

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate soared to almost 840 percent in July, the statistics agency said Saturday, adding to the country’s desperate economic woes even as the government refused to acknowledge a growing sense of crisis.

The southern African nation has been grappling with more than a decade of hyperinflation triggered by economic mismanagement under former president Robert Mugabe, who was ousted by a military coup in 2017.

Many Zimbabweans have seen their savings evaporate and still struggle to afford basic commodities such as sugar and the staple cornmeal, with corruption and poverty rife.

The figures were published shortly after a government statement was issued saying that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had implemented policies “that result in a robust economy” and had kept the country “commendably stable”, denying any crisis.

The July inflation rate of 837.53 percent, which was announced by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency on Twitter, compares with 737.3 percent in June.

Month-on-month, inflation stood at 35.53 percent in July, up from 31.66 percent in June.

The government statement — published by the state-owned Herald newspaper — was a response to a letter by Zimbabwe’s Catholic Bishops on Friday that deplored a recent crackdown on dissent by Mnangagwa’s administration and a deepening crisis in the country.

Last month, the authorities banned protests planned by an opposition politician and deployed the army and riot police in huge numbers to quell them.

Opposition figure Jacob Ngarivhume, who had called for the July 31 protests against alleged state corruption and worsening economic troubles, was arrested 12 days ahead of the strike.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono was also detained. They both remain in custody after being denied bail.

More than a dozen protesters, including award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga, were arrested on July 31 and later freed on bail. All have been charged with inciting public violence.

– ‘Multi-layered crisis’ –
The bishops described the clampdown as “unprecedented” and weighed in on the ongoing crisis, which the government has repeatedly denied.

They said the “struggle in Zimbabwe” resulted “in a multi-layered crisis of the convergence of economic collapse, deepening poverty, food insecurity, corruption and human rights abuses”.

Government spokesman Nick Mangwana accused the bishops of joining the “bandwagon of individuals and entities” seeking to invent crises for political gains.

“Government reiterates that Zimbabwe, like most countries in the world is currently grappling with challenges attendant to illegal sanctions, drought and the coronavirus pandemic,” Mangwana said, quoted by The Herald. “There is no ‘crisis’, political or otherwise.”

The United States slapped sanctions on Zimbabwean businessman and political operator Kudakwashe Tagwirei days after the July 31 crackdown, calling him “notoriously corrupt”.

The sanctions were issued to commemorate the two-year anniversary of a violent army-led suppression of protests over alleged election fraud, in which at least six people were killed.

 

 

-AFP

South African Police Clash With Protesters At Zimbabwe Embassy


South African police fire rubber bullets to disperse protestors during their picket against the government of Zimbabwe’s alleged state corruption, media freedom and the deteriorating economy outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria on August 7, 2020. Phill Magakoe / AFP

 

 

South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse dozens of protesters outside the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria on Friday, an AFP photographer said.

Close to 100 mainly Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa gathered to protest economic hardship and a recent crackdown on dissent and political opposition back home.

Earlier this week Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to “flush out” critics who he described as “dark forces” and “terrorists” after the authorities thwarted anti-government protests.

 

Protestors stand in front of a moving South African police vehicle stand near the entrance to the Zimbabwean Embassy during a picket against the government of Zimbabwe’s alleged state corruption, media freedom and the deteriorating in Pretoria on August 7, 2020. Phill Magakoe / AFP

 

On Friday police were seen pushing and shoving the protesters from the front of the Zimbabwean embassy building, situated in a leafy Pretoria suburb not far from the Union Buildings, the seat of South Africa’s government.

Drapped in their county’s national flag, protesters waved placards, some reading “Mnangagwa: You are going to The Hague! Murderer! Thief!”

 

Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech during his inauguration as South African President, at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, on May 25, 2019.
File photo: Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech during his inauguration as South African President, at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, on May 25, 2019.

 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said he had appointed two special envoys to go to Harare “following recent reports of difficulties that the Republic of Zimbabwe is experiencing”.

Mnangagwa took over from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe after a coup in November 2017 and many Zimbabweans complain that the country’s situation has only gotten worse since.

 

 

The Zimbabwean government has dismissed allegations of rights abuses and a crisis in the country as “false”.

“There is no crisis or implosion in Zimbabwe. Neither has there been any abductions or ‘war’ on citizens,” government spokesman Nick Mangwana said in a statement.

AFP

Author Arrested In Zimbabwe During Banned Protest

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga holds a placard during an anti-corruption protest march along Borrowdale road, on July 31, 2020 in Harare. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP
Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga holds a placard during an anti-corruption protest march along Borrowdale road, on July 31, 2020 in Harare. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP

 

Police in Zimbabwe on Friday arrested internationally-acclaimed novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga as they enforced a ban on protests coinciding with the anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election.

Dangarembga, 61, was taken away in a police truck as she demonstrated in the upmarket Harare suburb of Borrowdale alongside another protester, an AFP photographer saw.

Streets in the centre of the city were largely deserted as police and soldiers set up checkpoints to prevent entry.

Opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, head of a small party called Transform Zimbabwe, had called for demonstrations against alleged state corruption and the country’s slumping economy

The protests were timed to coincide with the second anniversary of Mnangagwa’s election, which the opposition says was a fraud.

But most people stayed at home after police on Thursday issued a ban and warned of a tough response.

“All security arms of government are on full alert and will deal decisively with any individuals or groups fomenting violence,” it warned.

There were more checkpoints and roadblocks than usual on roads leading to the centre of the capital, manned by police and soldiers.

In the central business district, police carrying batons or riot shields were heavily deployed, an AFP journalist saw.

Novelist arrested

In the suburbs, only a handful of people appeared to brave the ban.

An AFP photographer saw Dangarembga and a fellow protester, Julie Barnes, hauled into a truck full of police armed with AK-47 rifles and riot gear.

Shortly afterwards, she tweeted: “Arrested! At Borrowdale. Ope it will be OK”. She also tweeted a photo of herself and Barnes, sitting on the floor at a police station.

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga (C) and a colleague Julie Barnes hold placards as they are arrested during an anti-corruption protest march along Borrowdale road, on July 31, 2020 in Harare. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP
Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga (C) and a colleague Julie Barnes hold placards as they are arrested during an anti-corruption protest march along Borrowdale road, on July 31, 2020 in Harare. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP

 

She had been carrying placards calling for reforms and the release of Hopewell Chin’ono, a prominent journalist arrested last week under a government crackdown.

Minutes before her arrest, she told AFP: “It seems that there has been a big reaction by the authorities to this protest.

“They declared it illegal — I’m not quite sure (why), apart from the fact that they don’t want it…Our constitution gives Zimbabweans the right to demonstrate peacefully and that’s what we are doing.”

The Cambridge-educated author is the only Zimbabwean woman writer to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and has often been praised for speaking out on women’s issues.

She leapt to prominence in 1988 with “Nervous Conditions”, a coming-of-age story about a girl’s battle to escape poverty and gain an education. The book became an instant classic.

Her arrest came days after her latest novel, “This Mournable Body,” entered the long list for the Booker Prize.

In a statement, police confirmed she had been arrested “for trying to incite the public to engage in illegal demonstrations while carrying placards written various political messages meant to cause public disorder.”

Among several others arrested Friday was Fadzayi Mahere, a lawyer and spokeswoman for the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance.

Mahere live-streamed via Facebook images of riot police scaling metal barriers into a suburban eatery where she had retreated after her protest, and arrested her.

The British ambassador in Harare, Melanie Robinson tweeted: “Very concerned about reports of abductions, arrests and threats targeting those exercising constitutional rights. Freedom of expression is vital even in times of COVID19, with social distancing observed”.

Poverty and hunger

The government had denounced the protests, calling them an “insurrection”.

Ruling ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa earlier this week claimed that US ambassador Brian Nicholls was sponsoring the protests and called him “a thug”.

Zimbabwe'S President Emmerson Mnangagwa wears a protective face shield and facemask as he delivers a speech during the burial ceremony of Zimbabwe's agriculture minister Perrance Shiri at the National Heroes Acre on July 31 2020. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP
Zimbabwe’S President Emmerson Mnangagwa wears a protective face shield and facemask as he delivers a speech on July 31, 2020. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

Mnangagwa took over from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe after a coup in November 2017.

But hopes among many that he would end Mugabe’s disastrous economic slump have been dashed, and many Zimbabweans say they are worse off than before.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) says some 8.6 million Zimbabweans, or 60 percent of the population, will require food aid as a result of a drought, economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country has recorded 3,092 virus cases including 53 deaths.

 

 

AFP

Zimbabwe Minister Shiri Died Of Coronavirus, Says President

In this file photograph taken on December 4, 2017, former Zimbawean air force commander Perrance Shiri (L), who was appointed Lands and Agriculture minister, takes his oath of office in a new cabinet at State House in Harare. AFP

 

 

Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, a retired general who commanded an army unit accused of a notorious massacre in the 1980s, succumbed to coronavirus, the president said on Thursday.

Shiri, who was also involved in the ouster of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, died on Wednesday aged 65.

The state-owned daily The Herald said President Emmerson Mnangagwa told mourners “it is confirmed that Minister Shiri died of COVID-19”.

Local independent media had said Wednesday that Shiri had been quarantined at a private hospital after he was exposed to coronavirus by his driver, who reportedly died at the weekend.

 

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks during the Defence Forces Day celebrations held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on August 14, 2018. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks during the Defence Forces Day celebrations held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on August 14, 2018. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

 

Shiri became Zimbabwe’s first high-profile personality to die from the virus that is fast spreading in the country, which has a weak health system.

Zimbabwe has 2,879 confirmed virus cases, including 41 deaths.

Shiri was commander of an elite North Korean-trained unit, the Fifth Brigade, that cracked down on a revolt in the western province of Matabeleland in the newly independent Zimbabwe.

Known as the Gukurahundi massacres, the operation claimed some 20,000 lives, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, a figure supported by Amnesty International.

Shiri served for years as commander of the air force before taking up a post as land and agriculture minister under Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe.

AFP

Zimbabwean Minister In Gukurahundi Massacre Dies At 65

In this file photograph taken on December 4, 2017, former Zimbawean air force commander Perrance Shiri (L), who was appointed Lands and Agriculture minister, takes his oath of office in a new cabinet at State House in Harare. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

 

Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister, Perrance Shiri, an ex-airforce commander who headed an army unit accused of a notorious massacre in early 1980s, died on Wednesday aged 65, the government said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who made the announcement, paid tribute to Shiri as a “true patriot” but gave no details about the cause of the death.

Shiri was commander of an elite North-Korean trained unit, the Fifth Brigade, that cracked down on a revolt in the western province of Matabeleland province in the newly-independent Zimbabwe.

Known as the Gukurahundi Massacre, the bloodbath claimed some 20,000 lives, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, a figure suported by Amnesty International.

Mnangagwa was state security minister at the time.

Shiri served for years as commander of the airforce before taking up a post as land and agriculture minister under Mnangagwa after a coup that ousted longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

Mnangagwa described Shiri as “a long time friend and colleague… a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country.”

According to an independent daily, NewsDay, Shiri had been quarantined at a private hospital after he was said to have been exposed to coronavirus virus by his driver, who died at the weekend.

Critics took to social media to vent their emotions.

“It’s tragic that Shiri has departed without facing justice over the Gukurahundi atrocities he committed in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces in the 1980s nor telling the truth about those atrocities to help heal the nation. May God rest Shiri’s victims in eternal peace,” tweeted exiled former minister Jonathan Moyo, who served under Mugabe.

AFP

Zimbabwe Court Bars Money Laundering Probe Of Telecoms Giant

Zimbabwe court bars money-laundering probe of telecoms giant

 

Zimbabwe’s High Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of the country’s top telecoms operator Econet Wireless and revoked a search warrant issued by the police over allegations of money laundering, the company spokesperson said.

Police issued the warrant last week as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering by the operator.

Investigators wanted Econet to disclose the details of its more than 10 million subscribers and records of all transactions conducted within the first half of 2020.

Company spokesman Fungai Mandiveyi confirmed local media reports that the warrant had been suspended by High Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore.

“I can confirm the development but will be able to comment on it after receiving full judgement,” Mandiveyi told AFP.

Econet filed papers to the High Court on Monday in which it called the warrant “unlawful” and a “violation of… privacy”.

It has denied all accusations of money laundering.

Zimbabwean state officials have blamed mobile money transfer platforms for galloping inflation that has wiped out savings and rendered basic goods unaffordable to most.

Last month, the government abruptly suspended mobile money transactions provided by telephone operators — the most widely used platform to make and receive payments in the crisis-ridden southern African country.

The services continued for daily individual transactions but were capped for commercial transactions.

The government also suspended trade on the country’s stock exchange, which it accused of being complicit in illicit financial activities.

Mobile money payments account for most electronic payment transactions in Zimbabwe, which is critically short of bank notes.

 

 

-AFP

Zimbabwe Introduces Curfew As Coronavirus Infections Spike

Zimbabwe President and candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa stands after casting his ballot at Sherwood Primary School in Kwekwe on July 30 2018, during Zimbabwe’s 2018 general elections to elect the president and members of Parliament. (File Photo)
Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

 

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday imposed a curfew and reinstated strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus following a spike in cases in recent weeks.

The number of cases recorded in the southern African country, whose health system has been tottering from years of neglect, rose by nearly a third over the past week to a total 1,713 cases.

The number of deaths climbed from 18 to 26.

“We can no longer be complacent and that requires urgent and decisive measures,” Mnangagwa said during a national address.

“These urgent and necessary measures will entail curtailing the freedoms we have always enjoyed and grown accustomed to.”

Starting Wednesday, security forces will enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Mnangagwa said “all non-working” people will be required to stay at home and may only go out to buy groceries and seek health care.

Travel between cities and gatherings of more than 50 people for social, religious and political reasons remained banned.

Mnangagwa initially imposed a 21-day lockdown on March 30, banning large gatherings and ordering most businesses to close except food shops in a move aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

In May he relaxed the restrictions, allowing large corporations to open but under strict conditions to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

The latest measures effectively ban a protest organised by opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume against state corruption and worsening economic troubles.

The nationwide protests had been slated for July 31.

Police arrested Ngarivhume along with prominent investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono.

Chin’ono had lately been writing about alleged corruption involving funds earmarked for anti-coronavirus supplies in what was dubbed “Covidgate”.

They were both charged with incitement to commit public violence.

Zimbabwe Suspends Mobile Banking, Stock Exchange Trade

A man walks in the streets wearing a face mask as a preventive measure agaisnt the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus on March 23, 2020, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP
A man walks in the streets wearing a face mask as a preventive measure agaisnt the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus on March 23, 2020, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP

 

Zimbabwe on Friday abruptly suspended all mobile money transactions, the most widely used platform to make and receive payments in the crisis-ridden country, claiming the move would tackle crime and economic sabotage.

The government also suspended all trade on the country’s stock exchange, which it accused of being complicit in illicit financial activities.

An information ministry statement said government was suspending with immediate effect “all monetary transactions on phone based mobile money platforms in order to facilitate intrusive investigations”.

“Government is in possession of impeccable intelligence … whereby mobile-based phone systems …are conspiring with the help of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange — either deliberately or inadvertently — in illicit activities that are sabotaging the economy,” it said.

In 2016, mobile money payments reportedly accounted for more than 80 percent of all electronic payment transactions.

The shock announcement coincided with month-end when people receive and withdraw their salaries via mobile phone banking.

In a country critically short of bank notes, the move will likely shut most general transactions from payment for groceries and services such as electricity.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power in 2017 following a military coup pledging to revive the moribund economy, now blames the economic malaise on unnamed “political detractors”.

“We are fully cognisant that this battle is being fuelled by our political detractors, elite opportunists and malcontents who are bent on pushing a nefarious agenda,” he said this week.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

The country is short of cash and basics including fuel and the staple cornmeal.

According to new data annual inflation was inching closer to 800 percent in April.

 

AFP

Zimbabwe Increases Fuel Price By 150 Per cent

File photo

 

Zimbabwe on Wednesday announced a 150 per cent rise in the price of fuel following the launch of a forex auction system which eroded the value of the local currency.

The price of a litre of diesel jumped 152 per cent to ZW$62.77 ($1.12) from ZW$24.93 while petrol shot up 147 per cent to ZW$71.62, the country’s Energy Regulatory Authority said in a notice.

The central bank re-introduced forex auctioning on Tuesday, the first in 16 years after a long battle to stabilise its currency and fight hyperinflation.

The auction saw the local currency losing more than half of its value from 1:25 to 1:57 to the greenback by the end of trading.

Zimbabwe has been facing fuel shortages since October 2018.

The scarcity prompted President Emmerson Mnangagwa to increase the price of fuel by 150 per cent in January 2019, sparking countrywide demonstrations.

At least 17 people were killed and scores injured after soldiers deployed to quell the strike opened fire on protesters.

The government said at the time the prices were lower than in other countries in the region, and that some foreigners were buying fuel in bulk in Zimbabwe for resale in neighbouring countries.

Despite the price increase which was aimed at ending shortages, the scarcity persisted with motorists sometimes spending nights in queues for fuel pumps, stretching for kilometres.

After years in international isolation, Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for more than a decade.

Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time leader Robert Mugabe at the back of a military coup in 2017, pledged to mend the economy but things have only got worse with shops running short of basic commodities like bank notes, sugar and the staple cornmeal.

Zimbabwe Health Minister Arrested Over Coronavirus Supplies Scandal

At Least 31 Dead As Cyclone Idai Hits Eastern Zimbabwe

 

Zimbabwe’s health minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested Friday for alleged corruption related to the supply of medical materials to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the anti-graft agency said.

He was being held at a Harare police station and is likely to appear in court on Saturday.

“I can confirm that the minister of health and child welfare has been arrested and is being detained at Rhodesville police station,” John Makamure, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, told AFP.

“It’s to do with the procurement of COVID-19 materials,” he added.

The government did not immediately comment on the arrest, which came a day after the country’s main opposition condemned alleged state corruption following suspicions over a $2-million-dollar payment to a medical company contracted to provide anti-coronavirus equipment.

Harare has come under fire for granting two-month-old company Drax Consult SAGL a contract to supply $20 million worth of drugs, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits.

The deal was allegedly signed without the legal consent of Zimbabwe’s procurement registration authority.

In March, authorities in Hungary — where Drax Consult SAGL is registered — flagged a suspicious $2 million deposit into the company’s accounts, drawing anger from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Local media reported last week the arrest of businessman Delish Nguwaya, believed to be Drax’s local representative, in connection with the same case.

The government last week ordered the cancellation of all contracts for the supply of medicines and sundries by Drax, according to the state-run Herald newspaper.

The country has detected 479 virus cases, including four deaths, although that figure is believed to be underestimated due to a lack of testing.

sn/pvh

UN Experts Slam ‘Abductions And Torture’ In Zimbabwe

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

United Nations experts on Wednesday called on Zimbabwe to stop “abductions and torture” that they said seemed aimed at stifling dissent.

Three members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change say they were abducted by police at an MDC protest in the capital Harare on May 13.

Joanna Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri — prominent members of the MDC’s youth wing — were found dumped on the side of a road two days later and taken to hospital with multiple injuries.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said they had been severely beaten and sexually assaulted.

In a statement, nine UN special rapporteurs — who do not speak for the UN but report their findings to it — said the three had been charged with violating COVID-19 regulations on public gatherings and with intending to promote public violence.

The UN experts called on Zimbabwe to immediately end the reported pattern of disappearances and torture.

“The charges against the three women should be dropped,” the experts said.

“Targeting peaceful dissidents, including youth leaders, in direct retaliation for the exercise of their freedom of association, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, is a serious violation of human rights law.”

They urged the Zimbabwean authorities to “urgently prosecute and punish the perpetrators of this outrageous crime, and to immediately enforce a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for abductions and torture”.

They also said that in 2019, 49 cases of abductions and torture were reported in Zimbabwe, without investigations leading to those responsible being held accountable.

“Zimbabwe must take all measures in its power to prevent such abuse, to investigate suspected violations, and to bring any perpetrators to justice,” the experts said.

The rapporteurs also urged Zimbabwe to admit UN rights experts so that they could assess the situation.