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Zimbabwe ordered to pay victims of political violence


The nine applicants led by Barry Gondo, victims of political violence between 2006 and 2007, approached the regional tribunal after the government ignored a High Court order to compensate them for the abuse.

In a judgement passed in December, the tribunal sought to compel the President Robert Mugabe-led government to compensate the victims of political violence under international law, noting that the government was ignoring its own courts.

The group was awarded various amounts in the now worthless Zimbabwean currency, but the court urged that the amounts be revalued noting inflation and that the currency was no longer in use.

“Consequent upon the acts of violence, the applicants instituted proceedings against the government of Zimbabwe in various courts in Zimbabwe,” President of the Sadc Tribunal Justice Ariranga Pillay noted in the judgement.

The applicants first won a court order in 2007, where the government was ordered to compensate them for violence, but efforts to effect the judgement were futile, as the order was routinely ignored.

The military, police and state security agents have been fingered in a number of politically motivated violence cases, but few have been prosecuted.
There are reports that the army has been deployed in rural areas, allegedly to intimidate villagers ahead of elections, which Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want held this year.

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