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Zimbabwe Doctors Release Report on Medical Evidence Linking Soldiers to Harare Killings

FILE: Soldiers beat a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party of Nelson Chamisa outside the party's headquarters as they await the results of the general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 1, 2018.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has written a report accusing the country’s army of allegedly gunning down six people in August this year during opposition protests in Harare following delays in announcing the July 30 presidential election results.

In the report released Thursday titled ‘Zimbabwe: A New Era/Error’ the doctors, who attended to and documented cases of post-election violence between August 1 to September 5, 2018, cited soldiers as the perpetrators of violence against innocent civilians.

The report comprises of an analysis of medical records of 72 cases involving 102 victims of Organized Violence and Torture (OVT) that were attended to by the human rights doctors. The report does not include all cases but cases which were only attended to by Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights.

It says some cases might have been missed as not all the victims reported to the organization and other cases were attended to by other entities that were conducting similar work.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights did not get the chance to interview the alleged perpetrators to corroborate the cases, but it says every effort was made to compare the clinical history to the physical and mental examination findings to see if the allegations were consistent with physical findings.

The organization has recommended that the perpetrators of the killings and other forms of violence before and after the general elections should be arrested and prosecuted as per the provisions of domestic and international laws.

But Zanu PF has hit back, claiming that the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights was sponsored by the opposition to compile the report. The organization has dismissed these claims as baseless.

Zanu PF’s Believe Gaule says the report was not compiled in a transparent way and as a result it does not reflect what has already been said by state security agents, who claim that they have nothing to do with the August 1 killings.

Opposition MDC’s chairperson Thabitha Khumalo says the party led by Nelson Chamisa did not sponsor the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights to compile the document.