Activists’ Abductions: EU, UK, US Light Fires Under Mnangagwa, Demand Unbiased Probe

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By Staff Reporter

THE international community has unequivocally told President Emmerson Mnangagwa that it expected his government to carry out swift, thorough and credible investigations into last week’s abduction and brutal attacks on three MDC Alliance youth leaders.

Harare West MP, Joanna Mamombe together with MDC Alliance youth leaders, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were abducted at a roadblock in Harare before they were severely assaulted by suspected State agents.

The trio was found a day later dumped in a village in Bindura before seeking treatment at a private hospital in Harare where it is still admitted.

However, in a joint local statement, United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU) delegation, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and the United States (US), all expressed their displeasure over the brutalities.

They demanded the Zimbabwe government to carry out a thorough and credible probe into the widely condemned acts.

“The Heads of Mission expect from the Government of Zimbabwe a swift, thorough and credible investigation into the abduction and torture of opposition Member of Parliament Joanna Mamombe, along with Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova and allegations of the assault on Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu in Bulawayo,” the statement demands.

Nokuthula and Ntombizodzwa Mpofu are sisters who were also early this month assaulted for hours by six police officers at a police station in Bulawayo on charges that they had violated the lockdown regulations. They have since identified their assailants but the matter is yet to be brought to court amid reports the police officers are being protected by the seniors.

“The perpetrators of heinous acts of this kind and other human rights violations need to be identified and prosecuted,” the embassies said.

“The Zimbabwean Constitution prohibits enforced disappearances, torture, violence against women, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Heads of Mission exhort Zimbabwean authorities to respect these fundamental rights and full adherence to Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations.”

Cases of State-sponsored violence are on the increase in the country with reports indicating that men clad in Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) assaulted Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union (ARTUZ) secretary for gender and welfare, Moreblessing Nyambara last Saturday night in Domboshava.

The assailants accused Nyambara of inciting violence after she released a video in solidarity with the three MDC Alliance members who were abducted last week.

She was heavily beaten up and a medical report shows that she sustained serious injuries on her right arm and left ankle while one of her teeth is shaking and spectacles destroyed during the assault.

Meanwhile, in a veiled message directed at the warring MDC factions, the Heads of Mission called for political conflicts to be resolved through constructive dialogue.

“The Heads of Mission further urge all protagonists to resolve political conflicts through constructive dialogue, and remain clear that international re-engagement is contingent on genuine and sustained implementation of political and economic reform,” they said.

The West has told Zimbabwe that it will only re-engage if it implements key political and economic reforms.