Missing MDC 7: party petitions SADC, AU
The MDC has once again petitioned the Attorney-General for the urgent
release of seven party activists whose whereabouts remain unknown following
their abduction in October 2008
by Chief Reporter
The party fears they could have been killed, but the authorities continue to
profess ignorance about the whereabouts of the seven abductees, snatched
from their homes by gun-toting hit-squads.
The MDC says it wants to know what happened to its activists. Failure to
provide a satisfactory answer constituted a “major threat” to the
power-sharing agreement with Zanu (PF).
Three High Court rulings ordering their urgent release or the immediate
appearance in court have been defied as authorities insist the seven are not
The MDC, through its lawyers, argues that the continued illegal detention of
the seven MDC activists is a violation of the power-sharing agreement signed
in Harare on September 15, 2008.
The party said it would also call for the intervention of SADC and the AU,
the guarantors of that agreement, to assist in securing the release of the
seven, who are now feared dead. The matter is set to be tabled at the Luanda
SADC summit next week.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesman, said having worked with intensity in
the last months to get information on the seven’s whereabouts, most party
officials were now seriously concerned about the seven MDC activists’
“We are dealing with a rogue regime that can do anything, so obviously we
are all worried about their well-being,” he said.
Detention of citizens for 27 days without a court appearance is illegal,
with or without a power-sharing agreement.
Under the Security of Persons and Prevention of Violence section in the
global political agreement, all parties agreed to work together to ensure
the security of persons and property; to guarantee the safety of any
displaced persons, their safe return home and their full enjoyment of the
full protection of the law.
All parties to the agreement further agreed that it was the duty of all
political parties and individuals to respect and uphold the Constitution and
other laws of the land and to adhere to the principles of the rule of law.
“The State’s failure to produce these persons in court or to release them is
a patent violation of these important undertakings and the MDC and its
lawyers have no option but to approach the guarantors of the GPA,” said
While Attorney General Johannes Tomana was not immediately available for
comment, he is quoted last week giving a description of political detainees
that perfectly fits the status of the missing seven activists.
“If one is a political detainee, they do not go to court and go through all
the necessary court procedures. They are confined and kept away from
society,” Tomana said.
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said: “I don’t know where they are.”
Missing: Abducted in 2008
Gwenzi Kahiya – 29 October – Zvimba
Ephraim Mabeka – 10 December – Gokwe,
Lovemore Machokoto – 10 December – Gokwe
Charles Muza – 10 December – Gokwe
Edmore Vangirayi -10 December – Gokwe
Graham Matehwa – 17 December – Makoni South
Peter Munyanyi – 13 December – Gutu South
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