CNRG condemns the shooting of women in Hwange
CENTRE FOR NATURAL RESOURCE GOVERNANCE learnt with shock and disappointment the shooting of two women by the Zimbabwe Republic Police Support Unit Officers on the evening of Saturday the 22nd of August 2020 in Hwange. Ms Zulani Mudenda and Twabona Nyathi were shot in the abdomen and chest respectively, by stray bullets fired by police officers who were scaring away informal coke traders at Number 2, Section A, in Madumabisa Village slurry dam.
Mudenda who was on her way from work at Zambesi Gas was shot in the abdomen and the bullet penetrated through the stomach tearing it apart exposing the intestines. She was taken to Hwange Colliery hospital and was immediately transferred to Materdei Hospital in Bulawayo. Nyathi, a breast-feeding mother was hit on the breast and is admitted at St Patrick’s hospital in Hwange.
CNRG condemns use of GUNS to scare away unarmed informal coke extractors and this incidence shows the intensification of human rights violations in the extractive sector and lack of respect for human life by our security officers. The conduct of the police is deplorable and is contrary to the rhetoric of the Government of Zimbabwe on promoting and protecting human right, including women’s rights as stipulated in regional and global frameworks that GoZ is part of (SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, CEDAW, Maputo Protocol). Section 44 of the Constitution of the Zimbabwe obligates the State and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of the government at every level to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and freedoms set out in the Constitution. Furthermore, article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which recognizes the inherent right of every person to life, adding that this right “shall be protected by law” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life. The thoughtless and indiscriminate shooting of civilians witnessed in Hwange revokes traumatic memories of killings which happened in Marange.
We call on the GoZ to uphold the Constitution by promoting and protecting the rights of communities affected by destructive mining. Artisanal coke extractors and traders are forced by the economic crisis to engage in informal trading in order to sustain their families.
CNRG calls on the GoZ to:
- Thoroughly investigate the case and hold those responsible to account.
- Compensate victims of torture and police brutality.
- The Zimbabwe Gender Commission to investigate abuse of women in the mining affected communities and develop concrete recommendations that will address the vulnerability of women in mining communities
- Listen to the voice of women who have been disproportionately affected by mining, and facilitate implementation of meaningful, women-driven interventions that address the plight of women