Missing MDC Alliance trio found 'badly beaten, dumped in the bush'

The trio were found badly beaten and with their clothes torn after being dumped in a pit in the bush. Stock photo. The trio were found badly beaten and with their clothes torn after being dumped in a pit in the bush. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/hecke

The disappearance of three MDC Alliance members during a demonstration on Wednesday was a stage-managed “diversionary tactic” to unsettle the regime, a government spokesperson said in Zimbabwe.

Information secretary Nick Mangwana said: “It's a diversionary tactic. A poorly choreographed attempt to throw a curve ball at the system. But you can't fool people by playing the same scene many times over and expect to successfully pull wool over their eyes. You have been seen a mile away.”

His statement came after the MDC Alliance said Netsai Marova, Cecilia Chimbiri and Harare West MP Joana Mamombe were found near Bindura, 88km north east of Harare, with their clothes torn.

The alliance's Luke Tamborinyoka said the three were badly injured.

“Honourable Mamombe and Marova are having difficulties walking. Chimbiri is complaining of severe head pains,” he said.

Tamborinyoka said the three were placed in a pit with their heads covered “in the middle of nowhere in the bush”.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the government should seek accountability.

“Enforced disappearances, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment can never be justified. All perpetrators must be held accountable,” the lawyers said.

The abduction follows a similar modus operandi to that of last year, when numerous civic activists disappeared and were later found dumped.

The most prominent was Dr Peter Magombeyi, who served as president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association. He was at the forefront of calling for a doctors' strike that lasted for more than six months.

The government said the abductions were the work of a “third force”, said to be people who were pro former president Robert Mugabe.

Last year alone, according to the Zimbabwe Peace Project, at least 50 people were abducted.

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