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by Tarisai Manene

Maidei Changamire (not her real name) cradles her little bundle of joy before throwing him onto her back. She tugs the corners of the baby wrapper into place and continues with her chores.

She hums softly a popular tune of yesteryear by the late James Chimombe - Kudakwashe - which implores on the listener to accept whatever gift God has chosen to bestow, despite all circumstances.

It is not surprising that the 22-year-old mother finds solace in this song. She was recently blessed with a bouncing baby boy who will never know his father because of the circumstances of his birth

Baby Kudakwashe's mother was gang raped by six men during the run up to the June 27, 2008 sham presidential run-off elections. Her crime was that of being related to a man who supported the MDC-T.

"They beat me up first and told me they were going to teach my brother a lesson for supporting MDC," said a tearful Maidei.

A year has gone by, the political climate has changed with a coalition government that has been in office for the past six months, but Maidei still awaits justice.

Like many other women who were abused during the political crisis, she now looks to the coalition government for redress and pins her hopes on the transitional justice process.

Transitional justice is a process that seeks possibilities of peace, reconciliation and democracy but should be done systematically without endangering any political transformation.

The process includes, but is not limited to, criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programmes, gender justice and security system reform.

The complexity of the matter transcends generations as is the case with Maidei and her son.

"My son's children will never really know who they are because they will not know where they come from. Even if they catch the men who gang raped me and they are all given 10 years in jail each, it will not bring back my life, and my child and I will always be outcasts in this community", she said.

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