Zimbabwean activists are fighting against the violence and oppression their country has felt under president Robert Mugabe, who was named Foreign Policy’s “second worst dictator in the world,” after North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong Il:
“Mazvarira was abducted in 2000 from her home in Chivhu, a small town south of Harare, and raped by two ZANU-PF CIO officers after her 17-year-old daughter, an MDC organizer, was killed by a petrol bomb. Mazvarira contracted HIV from the assault. ‘They told me, ‘You and your daughter are Tsvangirai’s bitches.’’ When Mazvarira went to the police station to report the attack, the officer in charge refused to hear her case. ‘The police are only ZANU-PF,’ she said.
“The two women are not placid about what happened to them, but what converted them from victims into activists is that they were never able to hold their attackers to account. ‘The government won’t help us. No one can help us. It is up to us, ourselves, now. That is where we are.’ In 2009 Munengami launched Doors of Hope, a nonprofit organization that supports and speaks for victims of politically motivated rape. Doors of Hope now has 375 members from all over the country. ‘We are standing for women,’ Munengami said. ‘Those so-called war vets raped so many women during the liberation struggle, but they don’t want to talk about it. So we are going to talk about it. Whether it’s 1975, or now, we don’t want this to continue. We have had enough. We are sick and tired of being quiet. Where has silence got us?’”