By MIRIAM MANGWAYA

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has expressed concern over the rise in ritual killings in the country following the shrecent gruesome murder of seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore in Murewa, and other murders involving children and elderly people.

In a statement yesterday, the ZHRC urged law enforcement officers to promptly investigate and prosecute perpetrators of the ritual killings that have shaken the country.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with Tapiwa’s murder.

“The ZHRC has noted with concern the alarming rise and high frequency of ritually-motivated killings in Zimbabwe, specifically targeted at children and young people,” the ZHRC statement read.

“The heinous murder and mutilation of innocent people is disheartening and should be denounced in the strongest terms by our society and nation as a whole.”

ZHRC also stated that participation in ritual killings violated the basic universal human right to life, which is enshrined in section 48(1) of the Constitution and other sections of international treaties on rights to human life, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The rights body called for a collective effort among authorities to end the ritual killings and urged police to undergo further training to adequately deal with issues of human rights violations.

In its 2001 report on the State of the World’s Children, Unicef urged parents and guardians to constantly monitor the movements of their children and safeguard them from disappearance and abductions.

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