An 8-year-old boy is reported to have collapsed in fear and died after he was allegedly intimidated by some army officers who were providing security for Zimbabwe’ First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.

The freak incident is reported to have occured in Mudzi, Mashonaland East last month. According to the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)’s monthly monitoring report for April, the boy died on admission at Kotwa Hospital also in Mudzi.

His identity was not disclosed.

Online publication NewZimbabwe reports that ZPP has been monitoring human rights abuses across the country since the national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus started.

Part of the human rights organisation’s report which was released on Wednesday reads, “One of the cases is a very unfortunate incident where an eight-year boy panicked and collapsed after he and his friends were reportedly intimidated by some army officers who were providing security during the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s visit in Mudzi North in Mashonaland East province,”

ZPP also noted in the same report that cases of human rights perpetrated by State security agents and municipal police across the country had increased since the start of the lockdown.

“Despite being deployed without proper protective clothing, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the municipal police, and the army, unfortunately, proved once again, the need for security sector reforms, as they contributed to a combined 96.64% of all perpetrators during the month of April,” ZPP said.

“Of the total number of violations recorded, harassment and intimidation topped the list with 130 incidents while 86 cases of assault were recorded.

“Harare recorded the highest number of violations at 104, followed by Midlands, which had 52 cases. Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo provinces each recorded 25% of food and other aid violations. Harare, Matabeleland North and Midlands all share 8.33%.”

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