ZCTU blames Mugombeyi abduction on paid hooligans

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By Costa Nkomo

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has blamed Saturday’s abduction on Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president Peter Magombeyi on paid hooligans.

Mugombeyi was seized from his Harare home by some unidentified men after he has led a crippling strike by Zimbabwean doctors from public hospitals.

In a statement Monday, ZCTU acting secretary general Sylvester Mutindindi said the country’s umbrella workers group was shocked by the emerging pattern of abductions on government critics in the country.

“The ZCTU is appalled by what appears to be a clear and systematic pattern and upsurge of threats and abductions of civic organisation and trade union leaders who voice their concerns against the poor working conditions,” he said.

Mutindindi linked the abductions on what he described as a specialised and funded group of hooligans who are assigned to terrorise innocent citizens.

“It is clear to the ZCTU that there is a specialised and well sponsored group of hooligans that has been employed to carry out dirty work on behalf of those in authority to intimidate, kidnap and torture human rights defenders,” he said.

The country has, in the recent past, been witnessing a spate of abductions on government critics.

Among those who have been abducted and left for dead is Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure, human rights defender Tatenda Mombeyarara and popular comedienne Samantha Kureya, better known as Gonyeti.

Zimbabwe has a history of abductions on opposition activists and government critics.

Most of those abducted go through assault and torture in the hands of their captors.

Writting on Twitter on Monday, Information secretary Nick Mangwana appeared to be distancing government from the incidents, linking the abductions of so-called “third forces”.