Mangwana drags G40 into MDC activist abduction storm

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By Leopold Munhende

INFORMATION ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana says the nation must not be blind to the possible involvement of late former President Robert Mugabe’s remnants in the alleged abduction and torture of three MDC Alliance activists.

MDC legislator for Harare West Joanna Mamombe, activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were allegedly seized from the hands of the police by suspected state security agents over two weeks ago.

They were abandoned in Bindura a day later claiming to have gone through horrendous acts of torture and sexual abuse in the hands of their captors.

The state has denied any of its agencies were responsible for the abuses while police say they are investigating the complaints.

Speaking on New Zim TV’s Current Affairs programme, The Agenda Wednesday, Mangwana said abuses could still be the works of G40.

G40 is the moniker given to a Zanu PF faction that once mounted fierce resistance against then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s takeover ambitions as the country’s number one.

“We have three scenarios,” Mangwana said, “Number one is, it (abduction) was staged; number two; there is a third force from within.

“You know the remnants of the old regime that did this maybe. Scenario number three is there is actually a combination of these remnants within and the opposition working together to smear the government.

“We do not know which one is the correct one. That is why we are investigating. One thing we are very sure of is government did not sanction this. So, we did not do this.”

Mamombe and colleagues were allegedly abducted after leading a May 13 public protest against government’s failure to ensure safety nets for the poor during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

The protest was staged in Harare’s high-density Warren Park suburb, just under 10km from the Harare CBD.

Both government and Zanu PF have denied involvement, with some top officials insisting the claims were an attempt to taint President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.

Added Mangwana: “None of the people who led the demo looked hungry, why was it timed that way, that is what the minister (Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi) is talking about.

“I think the minister is onto something here.

“There is actually an ongoing and serious investigation of what actually happened.

“What I know the investigators are following the evidence and the evidence will lead us somewhere.

“When people are mimicking something, they want to mirror something, they do not get it right.”

The three MDC youth leaders have since been charged for breaking lockdown restrictions and gathering with intent to cause public violence or breach of peace.

They were Thursday granted bail but face up to a year in jail if convicted.