Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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ZANU PF commander jailed 20 years for rape

ZANU PF commander jailed 20 years for rape

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 September, 2011

A regional magistrate in Masvingo has ruled that a ZANU PF base commander, 
who assaulted and raped a married MDC supporter just before the presidential 
election runoff in 2008, is to be jailed for 20 years.

The court was told that Gilbert Mavhenyengwa, a 55 year old war vet from 
Ruware Settlement area Chiredzi, was accused of leading ZANU PF youths who 
broke into the victim’s home as she slept with her husband.

They forced her out of bed and ordered her to march with other youths 
towards their base, which was six kilometers away. As she got tired along 
the way, Mavhenyengwa hit the victim with a stick then dragged her behind 
some bushes and raped her.

At the base she was severely assaulted and raped again by several youths, 
after which she was tortured by lying in the cold water of a nearby river 
until the sun came up. For these torturous acts, the magistrate described 
Mavhenyengwa as “a disrespectful thug and an opportunist”.

The ruling by regional magistrate Esther Muremba has been hailed by some 
observers as a small step in the right direction, because ZANU PF thugs and 
war vets have operated with impunity in Zimbabwe, literally “getting away 
with murder”.

But they also say this one case does not change the culture of impunity that 
exists in the country, as many other ZANU PF supporters continue to commit 
horrendous acts without being investigated or arrested. And there have been 
many cases of brutal rape, where the perpetrators have walked free, even 
though they were known.


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