Zanu PF speaks on abductions
Harare (New Ziana)- The ruling Zanu PF party said on Wednesday it welcomed a probe into the alleged abduction and torture of three opposition members earlier this month, but criticised the victims’ reluctance to co-operate with police investigations into the case.
The three, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party legislator for Harare West Joana Mamombe, and party members Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova are alleged to have been abducted three weeks ago in Harare after taking part in an illegal demonstration, and later dumped in Bindura.
The demonstration was in defiance of the national Covid-19 lockdown.
Acting Zanu PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa said the party welcomed the position taken by government to investigate the allegations that the three women were abducted by state agents.
“The party welcome the position taken by Government to investigate these allegations to their fullest conclusion in order to unmask the circumstances of what actually happened which led to the alleged disappearance of the ladies in question,” he said.
“Zanu PF, its Government and membership abhors torture, any forms of forced disappearances and any form of harassment or violation of the rights of individuals under whatever form and that is why the country under the leadership of Zanu PF is a signatory and State party to various International Instruments and Protocols which obligate the State to adhere to the observation of human rights and freedoms,” he said.
Chinamasa, however, said it was unfortunate that the three MDC women were refusing to cooperate with police investigations into the case.
“We are saddened to hear that despite pleas by the law enforcement agents for the ladies in question to cooperate, they are reportedly uncooperative, choosing rather to communicate to Non Governmental Organisations, hostile news media elements and social media.
“We call upon the ladies to understand that this is a serious matter and that the allegations they have made are serious and deserve serious attention by law enforcement agents.
“Failure by the three lady complainants to cooperate with the police will lead to no other conclusion but that the alleged allegations are fake, stage managed, cooked and manufactured in Harvest House,” he said, referring to the party’s headquarters.
Chinamasa said Zanu PF finds it odd that the three women had not yet lodged a report with police.
“The onus to prove that there was an abduction lies on the ladies who should provide substantive evidence of what transpired rather than being hostile to law enforcement agents.
“We find it abhorrent that to date neither the three lady complainants nor family members or their friends have made a formal report to the police, suggesting that they do not want the truth to come out,” he said.
So often in the past, the MDC staged demonstrations and abductions ahead of important international meetings such as the UN Gneral Assembly to draw world attention to Zimbabwe, and win global sympathy and support.
Last year, two similar abduction cases happened ahead of the annual UN head of state meeting in September. In the latest case, the abduction coincided with a meeting of four Southern African Development Community leaders in Harare over the growing security instability in Mozambique.
Meanwhile, the three women were on Wednesday charged for violating Covid-19 lockdown restrictions by taking part in the illegal demonstration.
Under the lockdown restrictions, people are barred from gathering where numbers exceed 50, and to travel without the requisite official authorisation.