Minister: Abductions aimed to tarnish govt image

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

FOREIGN AFFAIRS minister Sibusiso Moyo says ongoing abductions on government critics were well calculated to coincide with impending visits by high profile officials from world bodies or international gatherings, to put spotlight on alleged rights abuses by Zimbabwean authorities.

“The government under the new dispensation is totally averred to any practices that put the lives of any citizens in danger,” said the minister Tuesday.

“We therefore find it very curious that whenever there is an impending high profile gathering or high profile visit to Zimbabwe, these criminal acts are always perpetrated on our innocent citizens.”

Several known government critics, among them workers union leaders, have been abducted by suspected State security agents in the recent past.

They report assault and torture in the hands of their assailants.

The incidents have been viewed by observers as an act of intimidation against groups and individuals who continue to highlight government’s continued failures.

The alleged abduction from his Harare home, of Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president Peter Magumbeyi Saturday, has triggered an outcry among citizens with striking public hospital doctors digging in they were not going to report for work if those who abducted their colleague do not return him safe.

But Moyo sees everything as well choreographed by government enemies.

“It is still fresh in our minds that towards the SADC Summit in Tanzania last month, the country was gripped with numerous abductions by people whose aim we can only believe is to tarnish its image regionally, continentally and internationally.

“We have no doubts that the latest abductions of Dr Peter Magumbeyi was meant to coincide with the visit to Zimbabwe by United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association.”

The Special Rapporteur, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule will be in the country from this past Tuesday until 27 September on a fact-finding mission.

In addition to his high profile visit, the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly also kicked off in New York same day.

“These two events provide an opportune time for the new dispensation’s detractors to soil the country’s image,” the minister said.

“As the government continues to spruce up the country’s image, it is unthinkable that any of its security agencies would be involved in such blatant criminal acts.

“The visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur was at the invitation of the government way back in November 2018 as we feel we have nothing to hide.”

The minister added, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police has already assured members of the public that “a team is investigating the abduction of Dr Magumbeyi.”