Amnesties kill - the legacy of impunity in Zimbabwe
Before the first election in Zimbabwe there was also a general amnesty granted under the peace agreement drawn up by Lord Soames, the British High Commissioner at this time. This amnesty meant that all those who had committed human rights violations could not face prosecution, whether they were Rhodesians or ex-freedom fighters. This meant people who had done terrible things during the 1970s were not punished.
Some of these Rhodesians who had tortured remained on in the Zimbabwean CIO and other units. A few used their position to act as South African agents to destabilise Zimbabwe. Others were recruited from ZANLA into 5 Brigade.
In 1988, after the Unity Accord had brought an end to violence, a second amnesty was announced in Zimbabwe. This time those who were being saved from prosecution for crimes committed against civilians were 5 Brigade, CIO, other army units and dissidents.
The very men who tortured people in the 1970s used the same methods to torture people again in the 1980s. Both times they got away with it and were never punished. Some of these men still hold senior positions in the Zimbabwean Government and armed forces.
human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa