“During the bitterly contested Zimbabwe elections between President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the country’s rural areas became effective no-go areas. There were numerous reports of politically motivated killings and widespread rapes, allegedly by members of Zimbabwe’s national army, veterans of the country’s liberation war and members of the ruling party’s youth militia.
The violent campaign led Tsvangirai to withdraw from the presidential race, after he had won the first round of voting, although not by the required 50 percent plus one vote. Mugabe, who came to power at independence in 1980, became the sole candidate and claimed an overwhelming victory in the poll. The international community refused to recognise the result.
A power sharing deal has since been negotiated by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki. While the attention has shifted to whether or not the politicians can make the unity government work, the victims of political violence remain traumatised and will never forget the events of 2008”