n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Accountability for the Gukurahundi atrocities in Zimbabwe thirty years on : prospects and challenges

Volume 48, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



It is estimated that between 10 000 and 20 000 civilians were killed by state and state sponsored agents between 1982 and 1988 in Zimbabwe. In addition to murder, there were widespread torture, rape and other sexual offences, genital mutilations, assault, and arson. These crimes have come to be known as the 'Gukurahundi atrocities'. The fact that thirty years down the line the alleged main perpetrators of these crimes are still in charge of Zimbabwe's political and security infrastructure, makes it difficult to find justice for survivors and the relatives of those who died. However, as illustrated in this article, most of the legal hurdles put in place by the regime to ensure impunity can be overcome.

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