Zimbabwe abductions, torture alarm diplomats

Western embassies in Zimbabwe have expressed alarm over a wave of abductions and torture of opposition activists and legislators in the southern African country.

On Wednesday, Tafadzwa Ngadziore (25), one of the youngest legislators from the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), posted a live video on Facebook showing him being pursued by a man armed with a rifle.

Mr Ngadziore was later found naked, severely beaten and injected with an unknown substance about, 50 kilometres outside the capital Harare, CCC said.

The incident came a week after former CCC MP James Chidhakwa was allegedly kidnapped, tortured and dumped outside Harare.

Read: Abductions, arrests follow Zimbabwe poll outcome dispute

His head was shaved, and he was allegedly injected with an unknown substance.


Jobst von Kirchmann, the head of the European Union delegation in Zimbabwe, called for an urgent investigation into Mr Kadziore’s abduction.

“I am deeply disturbed by the abduction and torture of MP Takudzwa Ngadziore,” von Kirchman said.

“Such acts are in stark contradiction to the principles of freedom, security and dignity that every individual rightly deserves. I hope that the authorities will immediately investigate and ensure that justice prevails.”

The US Embassy in Harare said it was “deeply disturbed” by reports of violence and abduction of opposition members in the country.

“The United States is deeply disturbed by continued reports of violence, assault and abductions of opposition members in Zimbabwe,” the embassy said.

Read: Zimbabwe in old place after elections

No such report

Nick Mangwana, the government spokesperson, said they were keenly following the case and police will issue an “operational statement” on the matter.

“We have also been handling a number of media inquiries on the same matter and liaising with the police who advise us that no such case been reported so far.

“They also informed us that they are trying to contact the alleged victim to get more facts about this case as currently they only have social media charter to go by. They will issue a more operational statement in due course,” Mr Mangwana said.

Zimbabwe has been on the edge since the country held elections in August where President Emmerson Mnangagwa won a second and final term in office, but the opposition disputed the results.

Vongai Tome, the CCC official responsible for tracking cases of violence, abduction and torture, said they had recorded 1,500 cases of violence against their members since the elections.

Read: Zimbabwe police arrests 40 opposition members a week to polls

Ms Tome said more than 100 party members had been displaced and were being hidden in safe houses.

“We have women who were raped, tortured and victimised. These were polling agents or some were contesting for various positions in the recent elections, while others are mere party supporters,” she said.

“Some of our members have taken it upon themselves to accommodate the victims because we have nowhere to take them.

“Safe houses of our partners are fully booked. What is even more worrisome is that despite these acts of gross violations, there have not been any arrests even in instances where the perpetrators are known.”

President Mnangagwa’s government often accuses the opposition of staging abductions to attract attention of the international community that supports regime change in Zimbabwe.

Three years ago, three CCC female activists that included an MP, were arrested for allegedly faking their abduction and torture two years ago.

The trio was acquitted of the charges in July this year.

Source:  The East African

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