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Violence victims hounded out of refuge


The past week was one never to forget for the over 1 000 victims of the worsening political violence in the capital’s poor neighbourhoods who thought seeking refuge at Silveira House in Chishawasha would end their persecution.

The terrified women and children at a safe house provided by the party no longer trust anyone even journalists, after police forced them to flee their refuge in the middle of the night last Thursday.

“It has been three weeks now since we started fleeing and journalists too are responsible for our plight,” one man said.

“First it was Zanu PF supporters who pushed us out of our homes and just when we thought we were safe, the police raided us at well-wishers’ premises.
“Then some reporters came in the company of the police and instead of interviewing us so that we could get help, they started interrogating us in the same manner the police had done.”

At a safe house visited by The Standard yesterday, a crowd including old women, pregnant women and children sat aimlessly; ready to sit through another day away from their homes.

Others were huddled in a corner where they were still sleeping around mid-morning. They refused to talk to the press, fearing for their own safety. However, some tried to co-operate but were blocked by their colleagues who said they feared continued media spotlight would alert their tormentors on their whereabouts.

There are 11 children aged between seven months and 15 years among them.

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