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FILE IMAGE: A police officer charging at a woman during a public demonstration

By Staff Reporter

THE Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) has raised concern over the abuse of women by police and soldiers enforcing a government imposed national lockdown against the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, Walpe said women were the majority of primary care givers burdened with domestic and unpaid care work and often find themselves harassed when they go out to look for water at communal water points, food in supermarkets or even medicines in pharmacies.

The group cited a case in which a young woman, Lucia Masvondo from Chikangwe in Karoi was beaten up by soldiers at night in her homestead.

The soldiers allegedly set dogs on her resulting in her sustaining several injuries on her body.

The feminist group also cited a video that circulated on social media of police officers beating up women whilst they were lying on the ground.

“More worrying is that these incidences do not get reported as the perpetrators are the same people whom victims should seek recourse from,” said the group.

“In addition to the brutality, there has been credible reports pointing to partisan distribution of aid and other social safety nets by the Government meant for both the vulnerable households and the informal sector.

“With women making the majority of those in the informal sector, it is of great concern that lack of transparency in aid distribution which is being closely administered by the largely male leadership can only affect women more and leave them vulnerable as they are likely to be left out.

“Cases of domestic violence are also on an increase with close to 1 000 cases reported countrywide.”

Tags : Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE)Zimbabwe police brutality
Staff Reporter

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