In a new twist the government has continued its crackdown on protestors and activist. This month 3 women were abducted and raped, Rights groups say over 100 people have been abducted from their homes, usually at night, over the last 6 months. Most were beaten and dumped or disappeared. The government blamed what it called a “third force” in those abductions, but no-one has been arrested or charged. Many more have been languishing in detention centers without trial or any charges for long periods of time.
In a joint statement last week, the heads of missions from the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom demanded a “swift, thorough and credible investigation into the abduction and torture” of Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.
“The perpetrators of heinous acts of this kind and other human rights violations need to be identified and prosecuted. The Zimbabwean Constitution prohibits enforced disappearances, torture, violence against women, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” the heads of mission said.
Two known MDC officials who reportedly went into hiding following abduction and escape by State security agents who accused them of mobilizing people to revolt against the government had their families this week targeted in an attempt to reveal their whereabouts
One of the party officials, Tapiwa Nyikayaramba (whereabouts still unknown), whose brother was attacked by Zanu pf intelligence when the assailants, not satisfied with answers of his whereabouts proceeded to beat him with metal pipes believed to be heated with a blow torch or gas burner of some sort to get a confession out of him. “they burnt me on my leg all the way to the bone, I’ve never felt such pain.” They burnt me until I almost fainted.
They took money from my house and told me they will continue visiting my family until they find him. Simba was later taken to hospital where he was operated on and treated for 10 days for 3rd degree burns.
MDC Midlands provincial spokesperson Takavafira Zhou confirmed the development, also saying the party’s district organising secretary for Mberengwa West, Avoid Trouble Mashura, survived an abduction attempt on Monday, while Luwelin Sibanda went into hiding on Tuesday after unidentified people came looking for him at Mnene Mission where he stays.
“We are certainly perturbed by the continued bullish, callousness, and harassment of innocent civilians exercising their freedom of association, which is guaranteed in the Constitution. We reiterate our long-held view that security intelligence in the 21st century has moved from thuggery and barbarism to use of intellect. We further remind the operatives to realise that Zimbabwe is a democratic and multi-party State and that they must, therefore, respect freedom of association and expression, let alone the democratic rights of MDC activists,” Zhou said.