Posted as a comment “from SA”
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is deeply saddened to learn about the unfortunate and painful death of Rebecca Mafikeni.
Rebecca (30) passed on, on Monday 12 August 2013 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where she had been detained since falling ill while incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison since her arrest in May 2011 on charges of murdering a police officer in contravention of Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 alternatively or concurrently Public Violence as defined in Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
In prison, Rebecca was made to suffer the worst of prison’s inhumane conditions and some universally guaranteed human rights were stripped off the political prisoner as she spent close to nine months in solitary confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. Prison authorities allowed her only 20 minutes a day out of the confined cell where in during these 20 minutes, she was expected to complete all chores human beings are expected of in a day – from laundry and bathing to exercising and just “enjoy” a bit of sunlight out of her dingy prison hole.
At one time, raw sewer would flow inside her prison cell and she would be forced to clean the sewer using her bare hands.
As a result of the malevolent and unjustified actions of the State, Rebecca languished in prison where her condition deteriorated.
Those implicated in, and responsible for her predicament are complicit in, and contributed to, her sad death. These architects of Rebecca’s death must be held accountable for the loss of such a precious life, and we call for an immediate investigation into her death and swift action against the perpetrators by the prosecutorial authorities.
It is cruel, unwarranted and unfair that such a well-lived life has ended in this needless manner. Only bringing the perpetrators to account will assist in ending this unacceptable culture of impunity.
It is ZLHR’s firm belief that bad things that happen to good people serve a greater good, and Rebecca’s death should teach us all something about standing up for what is right if we only let ourselves be taught.
There are no words to describe the despondency that we feel, and we cannot possibly imagine the shock and sorrow that has been thrust on Rebecca’s family, relatives and friends.
To the Mafikeni family, we are grieving with you at this sad moment as you traverse this difficult time in life.
May God give Rebecca eternal rest and may her soul rest in peace.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights