Probe on allegations of abduction of opposition members opened in Zim

By Almot Maqolo

Zimbabwe government has assured the public and the international community that it is fully committed to its obligations to protect the human rights and dignity of all its citizens, irrespective of race, gender or political affiliations.This come

s as it is gravely concerned about the serious allegations made by three female MDC leaders, the Member of Parliament Joana Mamombe, along with Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, to the effect that there were subjected to abduction, torture, and forced disappearance and sexual abuse at the hands of suspected state security agents.

In a statement today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo said the government is taking these allegations seriously. “These allegations are particularly grave in that they involve alleged violations of the rights of the girl child, a vulnerable group of our society which this government is on record as resolutely promoting and protecting.

“Whilst the relevant agencies of the state are fully seized with the matter and are already investigating all aspects of the allegations made by the three ladies in question- including the circumstances surrounding the unauthorised staging of a demonstration during a national lockdown, in deliberate violations SI177 of 2020 – it is most disconcerting to note that some sections of the media and even some within the diplomatic community appear to have already concluded that the Zimbabwean Government was responsible for the alleged abuses,” he said.

Surely they would better serve the cause of justice, Moyo said, by allowing the law to take its course and to await the outcome of the investigation rather than “jump to conclusions or wantonly ascribe culpability”.

“Although government has refrained from drawing its own hasty conclusions, it is difficult to ignore the glaring similarities which exist between this recent alleged incident and several such allegations in the past, which have all borne similar hallmarks of stage-managed theatre, designed to soil the image of the Government and indeed the Nation, and to divert attention from the ongoing implosion and ever-shifting allegiances within some political formations in the opposition,” Moyo said.

“As has been the case with several past alleged abductions, the current dramatic episode just happened to coincide with major international and regional events- the convening of the SADC Troika summit and the presence, in Harare of several Regional Heads of States and the impending SADC Council of Ministers virtual meeting.”

He said the southern African nation will await the outcome of the investigation before drawing any conclusions.

“Investigations will be conducted with the prime objective of exposing and prosecuting the perpetrators, if any, or exposing the involvement of a possible third force.” The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to Article 10 of the Protocol of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of Women in Africa.

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