The Party ZANU PF is concerned about the serious allegations made by three MDC ladies who allege that they were subjected to abduction, torture and forced disappearance following their holding of an illegal demonstration in Warren Park on the of 13th of May 2020
The Party welcomes the position taken by Government to investigate these allegations to their fullest conclusion in order to unmask the circumstances of what actually happened which led to the alleged disappearance of the ladies in question. ZANU PF, its Government and membership abhors torture, any forms of forced disappearances and any form of harassment or violation of the rights of individuals under whatever form and that is why the country under the leadership of ZANU PF is a signatory and State Party to various International Instruments and Protocols which obligate the State to adhere to the observation of human rights and freedoms.
We are however taken aback by the manner in which these alleged abductions are said to have taken place which has raised a lot of questions than answers. Firstly, the alleged abductions followed what indeed was a needless political exercise in Warren Park which happened against the Covid-19 Lockdown Regulations as provided for in S/I 77 of 2020. At a time when the whole world is seized with containing the spread of Covid-19, with Zimbabwe doing well at least thus far, it does not make sense why the opposition activists decided to endanger the lives of communities in Warren Park by engaging in such a needless demonstration.
Besides, this story raises serious suspicions among right thinking people as it follows a similar script that once played out in 2019 involving one Dr Magombeyi who in a similar style, announced to the world that he had been abducted, before he turned out after a few days announcing again that he had found himself. The process of investigating the Magombeyi abduction was scuttled by interested parties who whisked him away from the country, making it difficult for the law enforcement agents to investigate the circumstances. This was before it turned out that the whole allegation of abduction was a stage-managed script by opposition political parties whose fortunes have been on a free fall. This has raised concerns that this whole abduction allegation was a well-choreographed script, by and large similar to the previous series of fake abductions whose purpose has been none other than undermining the Party, its Government and Leadership.
The story line by the opposition party is that the alleged abductions were purportedly in retaliation for the illegal demonstrations that took place in Warren Park on the 13th of May but the images from the demonstrations circulating show the presence of known male elements who claim to have organised such demonstrations alongside the three ladies but the world is not told why the three males were not arrested, let alone violated. The major question is why could the ladies have been the targets while the male organisers of the regrettable demonstration were left out?
Thirdly, the manner in which these allegations were announced to the public, by one of the faction of the splitting opposition parties accusing the ruling Party of having been behind the alleged abductions, shows clearly that this could have been a rehearsed script aimed at evoking people’s emotions in their favour thereby diverting attention from the ongoing internal fights in the opposition party.
Fourthly, the world was made to believe that the ladies suffered, at least in their own words and those of the opposition mouthpieces “serious and bad injuries” and that “they were brutalised and sustained serious bruises.” The usual embassies whose hands remain unclean with regards to the previous fake abductions were seen on social media disseminating inaccurate information which by and large appeared to be an endorsement of the alleged abductions.
As it turned out, weeks after these regrettable allegations were raised, the alleged victims are yet to show the world the serious injuries which they claim to have suffered, besides disfiguring their faces in front of cameras.
We take strong objection to these tired attempts to present ZANU PF, its Leadership and our Government as a villain. The timing and manner in which these alleged abductions were raised leaves a lot to be desired. It is clear that these alleged abductions were intended to coincide with the convening by the President and First Secretary of the Party, His Excellency, Cde ED Mnangagwa of the SADC Troika summit on Mozambique which was attended by regional leaders. The allegations also happened at the time the US Committee on Foreign Relations was preparing to meet to deliberate on the removal of Agri-Bank and IDBZ from the illegal sanctions they imposed on this country at the request of these opposition movements.
We therefore have strong reasons to suspect that this was an attempt to replay the same tricks in order to sustain an orchestrated agenda to smear the Government of Zimbabwe, ZANU PF and its Leadership.
We welcome the decision taken by the security apparatus of the state and government to investigate this matter to its fullest conclusion and should leave no stone unturned to unmask the circumstances surrounding this dramatic episode.
We are saddened to hear that despite pleas by the law enforcement agents for the ladies in question to cooperate, they are reportedly uncooperative, choosing rather to communicate to NGOs, hostile news media elements and social media. We call upon the ladies to understand that this is a serious matter and that the allegations they have made are serious and deserve serious attention by law enforcement agents. ZANU PF will not allow that these allegations die a natural death. We insist upon thorough investigations so as to bring such to finality. Failure by the three lady complainants to cooperate with the police will lead to no other conclusion but that the alleged allegations are fake, stage-managed, cooked and manufactured in Harvest House
We also draw the attention of the three lady complainants that making fake and stage-managed allegations is criminal conduct.
The onus to prove that there was an abduction lies on the ladies who should provide substantive evidence of what transpired rather than being hostile to law enforcement agents. We find it abhorrent that to-date neither the three lady complainants nor family members or their friends have made a formal report to the police suggesting that they don’t want the truth to come out.
In the same vein, we also encourage the law enforcement agents to take action against the uncalled for violations of the Covid-19 lock-down regulations which resulted in those youth elements engaging in a needless political demonstration in Warren Park, risking the lives of communities there. There was no justification whatsoever to violate the regulations as directed by central government.
ZANU PF also welcomes the position of government as expressed in the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Cde S.B Moyo’s Statement that diplomatic missions must always exercise their duties diligently and avoid commenting on such serious issues out of hearsay and social media sensationalism.
It is always advisable to wait for the outcomes of investigations so that they can comment authoritatively and factually rather than rely on unsubstantiated claims of individuals with entrenched and vested interests in cases such as these ones.