By Staff Writer
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has urged the police to stop brutalizing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists saying the ongoing harassment does not augur well for the country’s image in the post elections era.
This follows the abduction of Womberaishe Nhende and Sanele Mkhuhlane on Saturday 2 September 2023.
It is alleged that three 4×4 vehicles visited Nhende’s home and forced Nhende and Mkhuhlane into one of the vehicles. It is further alleged that the duo was assaulted and tortured before being injected with an unknown substance and later dumped in Mapinga (about 73km from Harare).
This is the second time that Nhende has been a victim of abduction, torture and enforced disappearance. In June 2020, Nhende was severely tortured whilst in police custody and later fell folly to the “victim turned accused” trend.
During the electoral period, the Forum also received cases of abductions involving Givemore Chari in Marambapfungwe Constituency, and Nelson Mukwenha in Highfields, Harare.
Human rights lawyers, Douglas Coltart and Tapiwa Muchineripi, who are Members of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), and legal representatives of Nhende and Mkhuhlane were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) around 2300hrs on 4 September 2023.
The lawyers were arrested in the course of discharging their mandate. It is alleged that the two human rights lawyers advised the police that their clients, Nhende and Mkhuhlane were in no position to be interviewed as they were still nursing injuries from the abduction and torture they sustained.
In a related incident, the just elected Sunningdale Constituency legislator, Maureen Kademaunga was also arrested shortly after elections on allegations of attempted murder which were later dropped.
CCC deputy spokesperson and legislator , Ostallos Siziba was recently arrested on charges of fueling violence and Barbourfields and shortly after that a questionable complainant filed charges of assault against him which are still ongoing.
“We call on our police for once to be professional. We remain concerned about the seemingly partisan approach taken by the police in arresting members of the opposition while rarely ever arresting those from the Zanu PF party,” said the Forum.
“Opposition supporters have been reporting Zanu PF supporters to the police with nothing being done.
“We are concerned with the arrest of opposition MPs, we are worried about these arrests which are coming just after elections.”
Added the Forum: “Such actions after elections make us wonder what causes such retribution. After elections is primarily meant for people to go back to their lives and certainly there is no need for all this violence, abduction, arrests and torture we continue to hear about.”