HARARE – Three MDC Alliance activists including an MP who disappeared on Wednesday, before being found “badly tortured” on Thursday night suffered horrific sexual abuse, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said on Friday.
Chamisa spoke after visiting Netsai Marova, Cecilia Chimbiri and Harare West MP Joana Mamombe at Parktown Hospital in Harare.
The MDC accuses police of being complicit in the abduction of the trio who have told their lawyers that they were arrested at a police checkpoint following a “flash demonstration” in Warren Park on Wednesday.
The women said they were taken to Harare Central Police Station where they were later blindfolded and driven out of Harare. Thrown in a pit, they said they were subjected to torture by suspected state security agents driving in a black Toyota Wish.
Chamisa said the women had told him of horrific abuse suffered at the hands of the suspected state agents, including having their breasts sucked and guns being inserted in their anal passage.
“This is inhuman and degrading treatment. This is torture against girl children, torture against the country. Assuming that they had committed a crime, they were supposed to be taken to a police station, tried and sentenced. But this is a continuation of an ugly past,” Chamisa said.
“You won’t believe it. They are shaking. They are so scared when you open the door, they feel like running away. Cecilia said she can identify one of the suspected state agents who used a gun through their anal passage. It is unheard-of.”
The MDC leader said the people who abducted the women from the police station were armed with guns. They told the trio that they were punishing them for revolting against the government.
“They said, ‘we know that you are being sponsored as MDC to cause mayhem, and we want to fix you’,” Chamisa recalled the women as saying.
Police initially confirmed holding the two women on Wednesday night (image above, state media), but backpedalled on Thursday saying the three activists were not in their custody (image above, police Twitter account). They did not say how the women left their custody.
Chamisa said the silence by President Emmerson Mnangagwa was an indication that he was behind the abductions. The Information ministry later put out a statement detailing the sequence events but curiously excluded the initial confirmation of arrest by police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
The opposition leader said 49 abductions had occurred in the last 12 months. He dared Mnangagwa to deny the accusations and also appealed for intervention from the international community.
“Mr Mnangagwa is aware of these things because the same pattern has been used for the past years. We have seen that across 2019, crocodile prints are all over and he cannot deny it,” Chamisa told journalists.
“They have the audacity to lie to the entire world that this is self-inflicted, and it is false abductions, when it is so clear that those who doing it are doing so on behalf of Mnangagwa,” he charged.
He said Zimbabweans have to stand up and protect their rights.
“This evil is persisting because we as Zimbabwe have not come out to say enough is enough,” he said. “What we saw is so disturbing. It is embarrassing that a man would tie women up in sacks and go on to suck their breasts while assaulting them for the entire night.”
The trio were found in Muchapondwa village, Bindura South, where they had been accommodated by a villager after they were dumped by their abductors.
Western embassies have condemned the abduction and demanded a full investigation – ZimLive