MDC-T continues hunt for abducted activist

July 19, 2011 at 8:48 am Leave a comment

by Irene Madongo

The MDC-T says it is still trying to locate an activist who was abducted last week by the police.

The party said that on Wednesday night Allan Svotwa, the MDC-T district chairperson for Headlands, was taken by police officers from his house. There are fears that he is being tortured by his captors and is being deliberately denied access to medication and a lawyer.

On Monday Thabitha Khumalo, the MDC-T deputy spokesperson said: “We are still trying to locate him. Our foot soldiers are still on the ground. It becomes difficult because as far as we are concerned, the police are aware of where [he is].”

“We are concerned that his rights are being violated because he’s got a right to a lawyer and rights to medical attention. Normally when they are hiding this long it means he is severely injured,” she said.

Khumalo added that the eight MDC supporters who are still in remand prison in relation to the death of a police inspector also continue to be denied access to medication; this is despite a court ordering that they receive treatment.

Several of those detained have been severely assaulted. Their lawyer said one of those held, Yvonne Musarurwa, has a fractured hand and blood is coming out of a wound on her right leg. Another, Cynthia Manjoro needs treatment for a lump on her knee after she was beaten with a bottle and MDC-T Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere, sustained serious head wounds, which other inmates say are affecting his memory.

Up to 24 supporters were arrested after the inspector was killed. Of those, 16 were granted bail leaving the eight behind. All of them deny the allegations, and the party has said the arrests are a ploy to portray the MDC-T as a violent party.

“It’s a sign to show that they have no evidence against them, so they want to brutalise them so that they submit to killing the police officer. If at all they had enough evidence, these people should have been taken for the trial by now,” Khumalo said.

Meanwhile, two other MDC-T members are still recovering following an attack by ZANU PF youth militia on Thursday, she said. The party reported that the pair, Abel Samakande the Mutoko East district chairperson, and Steven Zenda the Mutoko East District Organising Secretary, were severely assaulted at the Mbare Musika bus terminus in Harare.

The MDC-T says it has given the police the names and address of ZANU PF supporters who have attacked its members, but no action has been taken. Efforts were made to reach the police but they were unavailable for comment.

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