By Ndafadza Madanha
INTERNATIONAL Relations and Trade minister Cde Sibusiso Moyo, has implored foreign diplomatic missions based in Zimbabwe to desist from commenting on the country's internal affairs on the basis of hearsay.
In a statement Cde Moyo urged foreign dignitaries to always engage his office whenever they need clarity on any developments in the country.
The statement comes at time when mostly western embassies have accused government of having a hand in the purported disappearance of three MDC activists.
"Government is gravely concerned about the serious allegations made by three (3) female MDC leaders, the Member of Parliament Joana Mamombe, along with Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, to the effect that they were subjected to abduction, torture, forced disappearance and sexual abuse at the hands of suspected State Security agents.
Whilst the relevant agencies of State are fully seized with the matter and are already investigating all aspects of the allegations made by the three ladies in question - including the circumstances surrounding the unauthorized staging of a demonstration during the national lockdown, in deliberate violation of S/I 77 of 2020 - it is most disconcerting to note that some sections of the media and even some within the diplomatic community appear to have already concluded that the Zimbabwean Government was responsible for the alleged abuses".
Minister Moyo said the diplomatic community "must allow the law to take its course and await the outcome of the investigation rather than jump to conclusions or wantonly ascribe culpability".
He said while Government had refrained from drawing its own hasty conclusions it was worried about the similarities in the current case with other abduction claims made by opposition activists in recent times.
"It is difficult to ignore the glaring similarities which exist between this recent alleged incident and several such allegations in the past, which have all borne similar hallmarks of stage-managed theatre, designed to soil the image of the Government and indeed the Nation, and to divert attention from the ongoing implosion and ever-shifting allegiances within some Political formations in the Opposition".
He added that the current case like past alleged abductions,happened to coincide with major international and regional events with the trio purportedly abducted as President ED Mnangagwa was preparing to convene the SADC Troika Summit.
Cde Moyo said Government is fully committed to protecting rights of citizens in line with its international obligations.
"In addition, Government wishes to assure the public and the international community that it is fully committed to its obligations to protect the human rights and the dignity of all its citizens, irrespective of race, gender or political affiliations.
As is already known, six police officers have been arrested in connection with the alleged assault of Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu in Bulawayo, and have already appeared in Court.
Furthermore, Government wishes to reiterate its commitment to Article 10 of the Protocol of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; and its commitment to the peaceful settlement of all forms of disputes; political and economic: and international engagement and re-engagement.
In addition, Government wishes to assure the public and the international community that it is fully committed to its obligations to protect the human rights and the dignity of all its citizens, irrespective of race, gender or political affiliations".