FULL THREAD: Doug Coltart On State Sanctioned Violence Against Women
Trade unionist Moreblessing Nyambara has been beaten up by 6 men including a soldier in uniform for posting this powerful video [see the video at the end of the article] in which she speaks out against the torture & sexual violence.
This is the THIRD incident I know of in the past month where State agents have specifically targeted WOMEN: following the assault of Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu by police officers in Bulawayo and the abduction, torture and sexual assault of Joannah, Netsai and Cecilia last week.
Moreblessing is a Mathematics teacher and a firebrand trade unionist holding a senior office in ARTUZ. She was herself abducted and tortured on 8th September 2018. In her video posted last week, she calls on women to stand up and fight against gender-based violence.
On Saturday night, she went to the Mverechena Shopping Centre in Domboshava as she had heard there was the partisan distribution of food aid happening under cover of night. She joined the line to get mealie meal, got her number, and returned to her vehicle to wait her turn.
While seated in her car, Moreblessing was confronted by a soldier in uniform together with 5 other men. The soldier accused her of being there to expose the partisan distribution of food. He said he knew who she was and had seen her video about the violence against women.
The soldier got aggressive, angrily shouting at her:
“You are inciting women to turn against the government. You want the country to be controlled by zvimbwido”.
(Note: “Zvimbwido” refers to female combatants who assisted guerillas during the liberation struggle.)
When Moreblessing tried to respond, the uniformed soldier and the 5 men in suits dragged her out of her car and severely assaulted her. She suffered injuries to her wrist and legs. They destroyed her spectacles and damaged one of her teeth which is still loose.
The sexist and disparaging reference to “zvimbwido” downplaying the immense contribution of women to the liberation struggle and implying women have no right to lead the country, underlies the deeply patriarchal nature of Zimbabwe’s oppressive military regime.
The series of incidents shows a clear trend: WOMEN are being TARGETED by the regime. This abhorrent tactic of state-sanctioned gender-based violence in Zimbabwe has long been documented and exposed by groups such as @RAUZW.
… Now is the time we ALL need to stand up and say: enough!
Women, please heed Moreblessing’s call to stand with your fellow women.
Men, (as the primary perpetrators of GBV) we must all stand up and say: NO!
Zimbabweans, let’s stand together to defeat this oppressive system.