FULL TEXT: Govt Blames "Third Force" For The Abduction Of Human Rights Activists
We have noted with concern and distress reports of alleged abductions and torture of citizens by unknown assailants in Harare. Whilst the Zimbabwe Republic Police are still investigating these allegations and their veracity, the Government would like to inform the public of the following:
Torture, arbitrary punishment and degrading treatment of citizens by anyone is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and ethos of the Second Republic.
As the Government, we undertake to uphold the rights of citizens to be treated with dignity and respect.
Since the emergence of the New Dispensation, there has always been a force comprised of discharged and disgruntled former members of the old establishment, of whom some are trained.
These have shown a determination to impair President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s image as a sincere reformer through various acts of malice and criminality in order to cause both local and international outrage.
This is the Third Force that we have reasonable grounds to believe to be in existence. Its hand in the incidences of the alleged violation of human rights, where established, cannot be discounted.
The Police will leave no stone unturned in efforts to detect and act upon any violation of human rights.
So far, the following persons and details have been reported:
Mr Morgen Gumbo (46) of Mufakose made a report to the police that he was abducted and assaulted on 13/8/2019. Earlier in the day, there had been a reported violent altercation between Mr Gumbo and Mr Shamboc Chivese also known as Mufaose, over an allegation of abuse of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) by Hon Susan Matsunga. This is reported to have degenerated into a fistfight and open threats were made. Police are investigating whether the alleged abduction and the said violent incident is related.
On the 14th of August 2019, the Police also received a report on the alleged abduction and assault of one Blessing Kanotunga of Mufakose on 13/8/2019. Investigations are underway.
Tatenda Mombeyarara also made a report to the police on 14/8/2019, saying that he had been abducted from Chitungwiza and assaulted on the night of 13/8/2019, before being dumped in Hatfield.
These allegations and any other will be professionally investigated to their final conclusion and the outcomes shared with the public.
Statement Issued by
Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services