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No Compensation for Relatives of Zimbabweans Gunned Down by State Security Agents in 2018


FILE - Soldiers patrol the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe, following demonstrations by opposition party supporters, Aug. 1, 2018.

Relatives of people, who were gunned down by state security agents in 2018 before the announcement of presidential election results, are pressing the Zimbabwean government to compensate them, more than three years they were killed by an elite brigade in Harare.

In an interview, some of the relatives said they were told by government officials that the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare would take care of their needs.

One of the affected people, Alison Charles, whose brother, Gavin Dean Charles, was gunned down, said indications are that the family won’t be compensated for his death.

Alison said, “We would like the government to compensate us. We want closure. We would like to know who shot my brother. Who killed him. You know, as a family we have been checking and all we know is we buried somebody that we love. We have no word from anybody, nobody even apologized to us for taking his life.”

Some affected families also expressed the same sentiments, saying the government is not forthcoming with any kind of help.

But Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper that the government has fully complied with recommendations of the Kgalema Motlanthe Commission, which conducted hearings following the gunning down of six Zimbabweans by state security agents in 2018.

Ziyambi said the government is yet to address some electoral issues as per the Commission’s recommendations.

The Commission recommended the compensation for losses and damages caused, including in particular, support and school fees for the children of the deceased; promotion of political tolerance, and responsible and accountable leadership and citizenry, electoral reforms including the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT), to among other things, enhance the transparent and expeditious announcement of election results; the enforcement of law and order in order to ensure that the events of the 1st of August 2018 are not repeated; accountability in respect of the alleged perpetrators; and nation building and reconciliation including an initiative for multi-party dialogue and cooperation.

The Commission established that the demonstrations were incited, pre-planned and well-organised by the MDC Alliance; the particular circumstances prevailing on the day justified the deployment of the military to assist the police in containing the riots; and six people died and 35 were injured as a result of actions by the military and the police.

Some opposition supporters engaged in street protest in August 2018 demanding the immediate release of presidential elections results.

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