Tawanda Muchehiwa is a Zimbabwean journalist. He was kidnapped on 30 July 2020 when he was a 2nd-year student at the Midlands State University and tortured for three days after his captors accused him of involvement in the planning of anti-government protests that were planned for July 31.
Muchehiwa is the nephew of ZimLIve editor Mduduzi Mathuthu who was also part of those targeted but they found him not at his home.
CCTV footage on the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa
CCTV footage has emerged showing the abduction of activist Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. He was abducted in broad daylight in July and was reportedly tortured for three days. The footage shows the abductors emerging from a white bakkie then forcing Muchehiwa into the same vehicle which then sped off. The captors accused him of involvement in the planning of anti-government protests.
Edmund Kudzayi a Zimbabwean journalist who obtained the CCTV footage on the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa, told SABC News that it is authentic.
“The footage is authentic, there’s a Nissan bakkie there an mp300. They’d removed the registration plates from the back of the vehicle. The number was caught I think it’s camera 2 of the CCTV footage. They managed to get the contact details of the person who owns the vehicle and they spoke to him and he said he had no idea the car had been leased to a car hire company so then he got in touch with Impala Car Rental and the proprietor said yes the vehicle was hired by one of our regular customers. Impala Car Rental would know the name of that individual.”
Tawanda Muchehiwa, the nephew to ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu who was abducted and brutally assaulted by state security agents in July 2020, tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in November 2020 in South Africa, his lawyer has revealed.
This came as the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)-linked Impala Car Rental, whose vehicle was used for the abduction in Bulawayo, last night claimed that Muchehiwa — a journalism student and activist — had “fled” the country and his case Anton Piller case against them had collapsed, a claim Muchehiwa’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole said is misleading. An Anton Piller order is a court order which requires the defendant (Impala) in proceedings to permit the plaintiff's (Muchehiwa) representatives to enter the defendant’s premises in order to obtain evidence essential to the plaintiff’s case.
But Sithole said Muchehiwa had not run away, contrary to what Impala claims. He said he had gone to South Africa for security reasons as the Zimbabwean state had failed to protect him. It is the primary responsibility of any state to protect its citizens. Sithole said the 22-year-old journalism student was traumatised by the abduction and gruesome torture.
“They brutalised, frustrated him and they are now celebrating a nullity. The fact is that Tawanda went to South Africa for security reasons as the state here failed to protect him and was thus, he was feeling unsafe after his horrific experience. If the state exposed him to risk, as it did, he had to seek sanctuary somewhere else. The matter is not over. We are seeking private prosecution,” he said. “For now he is in South Africa and is on and off (health-wise). Last week, he wanted to commit suicide by hanging, but, luckily, he was rescued by his relatives who then took him to a certain institution for counselling.”