By Idah Mhetu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has blamed an apparent abduction attempt on some rights and opposition activists on a Zanu PF faction once led by Grace Mugabe, wife to ousted President Robert Mugabe.
In a statement Thursday, Information Secretary Nick Mangwana said the government suspected there could be a third hand in the alleged abduction of some vocal citizens which is bent on tarnishing Mnangagwa’s image.
“We have noted with concern and distress reports of alleged abductions and torture of citizens by unknown assailants in Harare. As Government, we undertake to uphold the rights of citizens to be treated with dignity and respect,” he said.
“Since the emergence of the new dispensation, there has always been a force comprised of discharged and disgruntled former members of the old establishment, of whom some are trained. These have shown a determination to impair President Mnangagwa’s image as a sincere reformer through various acts of malice and criminality in order to cause both local and international outrage.
“This is a Third force that we have reasonable grounds to be in existence. It’s hands in the incidences of alleged violation of human rights, where established cannot be discounted,” read the statement.
On Wednesday, human rights activist, Tatenda Mombeyarara and MDC youth leader Blessing Kanotunga made claims they were abducted and tortured by unknown assailants.
Mangwana further said police are still in the process of investigating the cases.
“Whilst the Zimbabwe Republic Police are still investigating these allegations and establishing their veracity, Government would like to inform the public of the following: Torture, arbitrary punishment and degrading treatment by anyone is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and ethos of the Second Republic,” the statement read.
“The police will leave no stone unturned in efforts to detect, and act upon any violation of human rights,” he added.
In his statement, Mangwana mentioned the other names of the people who were abducted.
“Earlier in the day, there had been reported violent altercation between Mr Gumbo and Mr Shamboc Chivese, also of Mufakose over an allegation of abuse of Constituency Development Fund by Hon Susan Matsunga. This is reported to have degenerated into a fistfight and open threats were made. Police are investigating whether the alleged abduction and the said violent incident are related,” he said.
“On the 14th of August 2019, the police also received a report on the alleged abduction and assault of one Blessing Kanotunga of Mufakose.
“Investigations are underway, Tatenda Mombeyarara also made a report to the police, saying that he had been abducted from Chitungwiza and assaulted Tuesday night, before being dumped in Hatfield.”