Proclamation on the Recent Abduction and Torture of Three Young Women Leaders

The Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) gravely condemns the abduction and use of violence against three young women leaders recently in our capital. Allegations are that Honourable Joannah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Nestai Marova led a peaceful demonstration in Warren Park during the afternoon of Wednesday 13 May 2020 as an attempt to spearhead the plight of the impoverished in that area. They were however found days later, battered, tortured and bruised.

We bemoan this occurrence and strongly believe that acts of violence have no place in a democratic and constitutional country. These violations are uncalled for given how young women and women have been further impacted by COVID-19 and continue to suffer violence during the lockdown. In line with the UN Secretary General’s call for an end to violence, we demand the realisation and respect of the Constitutional rights enshrined and guaranteed to every citizen in Zimbabwe in s51 right to human dignity; s52 right to personal security; s53 freedom from torture; s61 freedom of expression; s56 right to equality and non-discrimination; s59 freedom to demonstrate and petition and s80 the rights of women. Currently there is a significantly low number of women, especially those below the age of 35 years old who are occupying leadership positions in business, government, politics and other spheres of life. This brutal abduction and assault of unarmed young women only using their voice to advance the concerns of the generality of Zimbabweans further widens the gap between women and men as leaders in Zimbabwe. It deters young women leaders from speaking with one clear voice for.

We urgently call for:

An immediate, timeous and adequate explanation by the Zimbabwe Republic Police that accounts for the disappearance and gross human rights violation against these three young women leaders.

An undertaking from the government to provide the three violence survivors with medical, legal and psychological support.

An undertaking from the Government and it’s security officers to immediately desist from such human rights violations especially against young women and women in politics.

Immediate disciplinary sanctions and criminal prosecution must be handed down on the culprits who are both directly and indirectly involved in the abduction and torture of the afore mentioned young women leaders.

Source: Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD)

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