The human rights situation in Zimbabwe right now is in a dire crisis, and very much deplorable. It is hard to think that the government that made promises to make a break from the Mugabe regime is now more brazen than ever when it comes to unleashing the ruthless and heartless military on innocent, unarmed civilians.
The anti-government protests that rocked Zimbabwe after fuel prices were hiked by 150% have stopped, but systematic violence and torture committed by Zimbabwean soldiers is ongoing, and this involves sexually assaulting women.
Nothing has really changed in Zimbabwe, and the modus operandi of ZANU-PF, which is violence, is getting more serious.
According to The Telegraph, a Zimbabwean soldier openly admitted to committing these heinous atrocities on unarmed civilians all in an attempt to silence the people from protesting against the government. This issue of silencing the people is something which the soldier gloated arrogantly and insensitively about.
"Our lieutenant told us to go in and find them. We got our information of where the Movement for Democratic Change activists live from members of our party, Zanu PF," the soldier told the Telegraph this week.
The men were ordered to go into the poor suburbs of Harare, the country's capital, to locate opposition activists and "punish them." The intention was made clear. The Zimbabwean government never hesitates to be cold and brutal like that.
The soldier took part in systematically breaking legs and would personally commit at least one rape in a door-to-door operation on the night of January 15.
"It was night. We were looking for someone in the MDC. We had an address, this lady was sleeping with a light on. I asked is her husband there, and she said she doesn't have one. I was done in a minute," he said.
The anti-government protests resulted in 12 deaths, and more than 300 were wounded.
It appears the police have been blind to these tortures and evil acts committed by the Zimbabwean military. At best, the impression is that the military is riding on a serious wave of impunity. And the police can do nothing about it because it is the military calling the shots, and the police are also an appendage of the terrifying regime.
Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said she had not received any reports of rape. People are also afraid to report because the consequences could even be more harmful and deadly.
"We are going to deal with people calling for demonstrations. They will hide under doors, under beds. The schoolchildren who joined the demonstrations, most of them are MDC, and most of them are taught by their parents to do this.
"And so we have to beat them. We stopped them. Don’t believe we didn’t stop them. We did. We will do this again," the soldier said.
The major characteristic of Zimbabwean politics right now is the heavy militarization of the State, the forced role of the military in Zimbabwe's social, economic and political spaces.
Header image credit: Harare24 News