Mwonzora confronts Ziyambi over abduction and torture of MDC officials

Douglas Mwonzora
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MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora Thursday questioned Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi over the recent abduction and torture of MDC Alliance MP Joanna Mamombe and her two party colleagues by suspected state security agents.

Mwonzora was elected on an MDC Alliance ticket 2018 but was later reinstated as secretary general of the predecessor MDC-T following a court order to resurrect the party.

During a question and answer session in Senate, Mwonzora, now a fierce rival to MDC Alliance for allegedly fronting a Zanu PF plot to annihilate the opposition, pulled a surprise when he quizzed the minister over the abduction of activists who have sided with his (Mwonzora) rivals.

Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were abducted at a police checkpoint near the National Sports Stadium in Harare and were found the next day in Bindura brutally assaulted amid allegations they were also sexually abused.

They are currently hospitalised at a private hospital in Harare under police watch.

“On the abduction and torture of three girls including an MP Joanna Mamombe at the hands State agents last week, what has government done about the incident? What is the government doing to make sure this does not happen again?” Mwonzora asked Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.

In response, Ziyambi said the police were interested in interviewing and possibly arresting the trio for taking part in an illegal demonstration against the government in Warren Park, Harare.

The Zanu PF minister said the State was not concerned about the abductions and torture claims.

The demonstration was in protest against severe food shortages in the country during the current Covid-19 national lockdown.

“Police are keen to interrogate the three MDC young women leaders who led a demonstration during a Covid-19 lockdown restriction,” Ziyambi said in response to Mwonzora.

He said the government had no business in abducting and torturing individuals.

“I acknowledge the allegations that these three decided to hold a demo under lockdown conditions. I am not sure whether they were tortured or not. Police are keen to interrogate them over the protests. As government, we have no reason to abduct anyone,” said Ziyambi.

However, Mwonzora seemed concerned the government was interested more in the demonstration than the abduction and torture claims.

“The minister appears to be saying government is investigating the demo and not the torture and abductions?” Mwonzora persisted.

The Justice Minister replied; “It is a fact that these people broke the law. They are wanted by the police to explain their demonstration. I am not sure, maybe, they are happy being in hospital but police are waiting for them. If they have a complaint to lodge with the police, they are free to do so.”

Ziyambi also claimed Mamombe drove her car to Harare Central Police station where she left it for unknown reasons, before it was impounded by the police as part of their investigations.

Senators Mwonzora, Morgen Komichi, Elias Mudzuri, and MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe have been accused by the MDC Alliance of working on destroying the opposition party with the backing of Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Most MDC Alliance who are aligned to Chamisa have since disengaged from all parliamentary businesses in protest over the recalling of four of their senior colleagues by Mwonzora early this month.

The affected MPs are; Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Thabitha Khumalo, and Lilian Timveous. – Newzim