Zimbabwe Police to press charges against abducted opposition MP, activists

Zimbabwe Godwin Commissioner General Godwin Matanga
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GOVERNMENT has revealed plans to press charges against hospitalised MDC Alliance MP, Joanna Mamombe and some party activists for allegedly staging an illegal demonstration and violating the country’s lockdown regulations.

Mamombe and party youth leaders, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova have made world news after they were Wednesday allegedly abducted and subjected to horrendous acts of torture by suspected state security agents who accused them of plotting to overthrow the Zanu PF led government.

The three had earlier been reported arrested at a police roadblock near the National Sports Stadium as they returned into the city centre, moments from an anti-government protest they had staged in Warren Park high density suburb together with a group of party activists.

What followed were tales of physical torture and sexual abuse in the hands of their captors.

The activists have since been hospitalised at a private Harare health facility with police saying they were investigating the allegations.

However, at a media briefing in Harare Sunday, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said police were still going to press charges against the three for organising a demonstration when the country had declared a national lockdown against the spread of coronavirus.

“The trio’s demonstration was illegal because for one to stage a demonstration, one should have a police clearance.

“So, in that respect, it was illegal and they also violated the lockdown regulations. So, it was illegal and there was no social distancing.

“So, it will be dealt with at an appropriate time. For now, we are dealing with the alleged abduction,” Kazembe said.

Kazembe also directed the Commissioner General of Police to institute full scale investigations into the matter.

“We can assure you that no one is above the law. We will investigate this case and if the alleged abduction did take place, we will leave no stone unturned and account for whoever did it.

“We can assure Zimbabweans that the police will do the utmost to make sure that they get to the bottom of this case.”

Speaking at the same event, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga said the law enforcement agents were now in possession of a video clip of the demonstration and were set to arrest all those who were involved in the protest.

“The Information I have now is that the police could not arrest the demonstrators as they had dispersed when police arrived at the scene in Warren Park.

“Fortunately, the police now have the video showing what happened in Warren Park and we are in the process of following up on all the persons who are in the clip,” said Matanga.

Police also dismissed claims they had initially admitted the abducted activists were in their hands when news of their disappearance filtered through communication channels Wednesday evening.

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi also told journalists during the same press briefing that the police public relations department he heads never confirmed the arrest of the trio. – Newzim