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Marriages in trouble over-lockdown



domestic abuse

There has been a worrying spike in domestic violence across Zimbabwe, as the country entered its third and final week of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Musasa Project, a local NGO, says it has already documented at least 782 cases of abuse in just 13 days, compared to an average of 500 per month.

“We believe from the trends that we’re seeing that it is going to escalate,” said Rotina Mafume Musara, an advocacy programme officer with the group.

“We have got young women who have been physically assaulted for asking for food to feed the family,” she told RFI. “In most cases the woman relies on the partner to provide food.”

With unemployment at around 80 percent most Zimbabwean families are dependent on daily informal trade to earn a living. Under the lockdown that started 30 March, that is no longer possible.

Another emergency 

Zimbabwe has confirmed just 17 cases of Covid-19, three of them fatal. But just over 600 tests have been done, and there is speculation the disease is more prevalent.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has not yet announced whether, like neighbouring South Africa, it will extend its lockdown beyond 19 April.

On Monday, 30 Zimbabweans including the country’s ambassador to Sudan were quarantined at an isolation facility outside Harare after they disembarked from an Ethiopian Airlines flight from London.

Musara says as the country responds to one public health emergency, it risks overlooking another.

“As much as we say COVID-19 is an emergency, gender-based violence is an emergency as well. And once it’s declared an emergency, at least you’re going to have various actors coming together, sitting at the same table, and trying to come up with solutions to help these women,” she said.

She said more emergency shelters for abused women and a robust emergency response from the police are needed.

More than 5,000 arrests

Under the current strict conditions enforced by the army and police, women and children who are bearing the brunt of domestic violence have nowhere to run to. More than 5,000 people have been arrested for defying the lockdown, and the Heal Zimbabwe Trust, a rights group, has reported assaults against some civilians by members of the security forces for not complying with it.

“In these circumstances abusers actually know that, ‘This person that I’m abusing will not be able to go somewhere to report’,” says opposition MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga. “She has no support system.”

The MP told a talk show on Harare’s private radio station Capitalk 100.4 FM on Monday: “I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that people are abusing because they are confined. Abusers have always been abusers.”

Axe murder

On Tuesday, the station broadcast a radio drama on domestic abuse entitled, “Women bear the brunt of any outbreak” in an effort to raise awareness.

While women and children may be bearing the brunt of domestic violence, Zimbabweans have been shocked by a report of a 44-year-old woman who was arrested last week for murdering her sleeping husband with an axe on 10 April.

The tragedy, in the second city of Bulawayo, followed an argument over a TV remote.

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Watch: South Africans give notice to foreigners to leave SA before June 16



With no sign of economic hardships disappearing in Zimbabwe, those who have escaped to South Africa are living in fear as locals have threatened to chase them if they don’t leave on their own accord.

Warnings of an operation to get South Africa rid of foreign nationals on the 16th of June continue to circulate.

Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing the ogarnisers of the operation dubbed, OPERATION DUDULA serving seven day notices to some foreign nationals to vacate the country.


– reads the notice.

While the poster specifies that illegal foreigners will be targeted it however does not state that documented ones will be spared.

Such attacks, as occurred before, ended up targeting all immigrants regardless of their status.

Dudula which means “push” brings horrific and sad memories of xenophobic attacks that happened in the country in 2015. Many people were killed, some burnt alive, while some were left homeless as their homes were destroyed.

Just like it happened before, the South African Police Services (SAPS) ignored warnings of imminent attacks on immigrants which then led to the bloodshed.

Similarly, at this point, the SAPS or any government have not said anything about the threats on foreign citizens in their country.

In one of the videos circulating online, the pro Dudula Operation people can be heard blaming the loadshedding on illegal connections supposedly done by foreign nationals.

Local truck drivers have been at loggerheads with their foreign counterparts accusing them of stealing their jobs and accepting low wages and inhuman working conditions.

The situation has left the Zimbabwean and other foreign drivers prone to abuse even when they are legally in the country.

Members of a local drivers organisation, well known for violent attacks on drivers and trucks, have been targeting foreign drivers sjamboking them while recording videos which are then spread online.

They do this to humiliate their victims and instill fear on their colleagues.

No reports of arrest of the perpetrators have been made yet.

For the Zimbabweans and other foreigners in the country, it remains to be seen if they will still call South Africa home after the June 16 2021.

The date concides with South Africa’s youth day when they commemorate the heroics of the youths of 1976 who were massacred by the army after revolting against apartheid.

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Fraudster arrested after swipping for $390 000 groceries



A fraudster has been arrested after he swiped for groceries worth more than $398 000 at OK Supermarket in Hwange using a bank card that had been tampered with.

The man, Brian Pedzisa of Chitungwiza, was arrested on Thursday and is suspected to be among a gang of people who have been using cloned cards and other bank card related tactics to con various retail shops across the country.

Detectives on Thursday pounced on Pedzisa at the supermarket, moments after he was about to get out after swiping for groceries worth $396 384.

Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the incident and said police were now looking for two other people linked to the sca

“On 10 June 2021 a gang of three fraudsters tried to defraud OK Hwange Supermarket of groceries worth $396 384.

One of the fraudsters successfully used an electronic Visa card to make purchases but before he could make off he was arrested by a team of watchful detectives who were working on a tip-off. Upon being interviewed the suspect revealed that he was working with two other accomplices who are still at large,” said Insp Banda.

He said the gang had used the same strategy to defraud OK Mart Victoria Falls of an undisclosed amount in groceries. He appealed to members of the public to assist with information leading to their arrest.

“The two accomplices are on the run anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of these two criminals can report at the nearest police station,” said Insp Banda.

He called on shop owners to enhance security to avoid such incidents which were on the rise in the country.

“As police we would like to implore shop owners to enhance security at their premises through use of alarm systems and Closed Circuit Television. Retailers should examine electronic cards and do necessary verifications before processing of electronic transactions. For the record some fraudsters misrepresent themselves as humanitarian workers.”

According to sources privy to the incident, the gang would approach the supermarkets seeking a quotation for groceries pretending that the transaction wanted would be effected from a nostro account. Later one of the gang members would return to make purchases using a Visa card whose microchip would have been tampered with. Sunday News

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Gutu Inter-Africa bus and Honda Fit accident victims all from same family



GUTU- Police has announced names of the Gutu accident victims who were involved in a Honda Fit – Bus collision along the Gutu- Chivhu Highway yesterday.

The five were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with an Inter-Africa Bus near Matizha Business Centre in Gutu.

National Police Spokesperson Insp Paul Nyathi announced the names of the deceased family members who were travelling from Harare as Francis Chagweda (33)the driver, Mavis Chagweda (61), Lloyd Chagweda (31), Viola Chagweda (35) and Keresensia Mapaaona (28).

According to a family member, Oscar Chagweda the now deceased were travelling to Chiwara in Gutu for a family function when the tragedy happened.

An eyewitness told I ZIM that the accident occured after the Inter-Africa bus tried to overtake another bus. “It then encroached onto the lane of the oncoming Honda fit which swerved to avoid collision,” said the witness.

The Honda fit reportedly swerved off the road but the bus did the same resulting in the head on collision.

Only one person from the car survived the horific accident and was taken to Matizha clinic before she was transferred to Gutu Rural Hospital for treatment.

During the covid-19 induced Lockdown, government banned private kombis allowing only those registered under ZUPCO to operate resulting in little non-commercial vehicles overloading passengers.

Yesterday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Health and Child Care Minister announced another Covid -19 regulations which gave a waiver to public transport operators.

However, the transport sector is also now dominated by “mushikashika” vehicles some of which include Toyota Wish and Honda fit vehicles who have the capacity to carry 4 or 5 passengers , however some of these vehicles end up carrying as many as nine passengers.

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