Zimbabwe human rights groups are stepping up pressure on Harare's national unity government to prosecute the perpetrators of 2008 electoral violence including politically motivated rape before proceeding with another round of elections next year.
A new report by the Research and Advocacy Unit and the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights implicates the military, police, war veterans and a militia tied to the former ruling ZANU-PF militia in numerous cases of politically motivated rape.
The groups say such sexual violence took many forms including ”extreme violence, gang rape and insertion of objects" such as bottles and sticks into the genitalia of women. The report urged action by five ministries to investigate and prosecute the crimes.
The study of politically motivated rape looked at 27 individual cases from 2001 through 2008 and found that 89 percent of the the rapes took place in 2008. Members of the army were implicated in 8 of the 27 cases, the report said.
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, director of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the report has been presented to the government with a call for action against those responsible.