Zimbabwean government looking into reports of rape amid army crackdown

The Zimbabwean government is looking into widespread reports that their soldiers raped a number of women and children during the recent violent clampdown on protesters.

The protests were motivated by a massive increase in the petrol price. Recently, footage went viral of soldiers and police abusing unarmed citizens.

Dewa Mavhinga of Human Rights Watch Southern Africa says dozens of women have come forward to report that they have been raped by soldiers in uniform.

The challenge is that there is limited support because for those in safe houses, yes they will be receiving medical attention and psycho-social support but there are many more we believe who may not have been able to come forward.

Dewa Mavhinga, Human Rights Watch Southern Africa Director

No one has yet been arrested from the security forces and charged with these crimes.

Dewa Mavhinga, Human Rights Watch Southern Africa Director

The challenges we have is that the police have not been handling these cases and so a bigger number of women have not been able to come forward and seek medical attention, even as we speak the crackdown has not stopped.

Dewa Mavhinga, Human Rights Watch Southern Africa Director

Mavhinga says some senior government officials are in denial.

There are contradictory statements coming from government. The president only accepted the brutality when we saw something that was published on Sky News.

Dewa Mavhinga, Human Rights Watch Southern Africa Director

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