MDC-T expresses concern over disappearance of activists in Mutare
By Tichaona Sibanda
The MDC-T in Manicaland is investigating the disappearance of some of its
members from Makoni North, who are feared to have been kidnapped and
detained by the army at its 3 Brigade Headquarters in Mutare.
They were in a Kombi that was forced to drive into the army base in Mutare
on Wednesday, because passengers spoke critically about the way soldiers,
police and the CIO hijacked the population census exercise.
The Kombi was travelling from Rusape to Mutare when one of the passengers, a
soldier, became incensed when other passengers started discussing the census
that has been turned into such a fiasco by the security forces.
When the Kombi got to Mutare, the soldier identified himself and told the
driver to go to the 3 Brigade Headquarters in the city. Unknown to the army,
a number of passengers were senior MDC-T officials from Makoni district who
immediately sent out text messages to the party of their predicament.
One of those who received a text was Energy and Power Development Minister
Elton Mangoma, who alerted the party spokesman in Manicaland, Pishai
Mangoma, who is the MDC-T MP for Makoni North, told us that after spending
some time at the camp all the passengers were freed after interrogation. But
it has turned out that Mangoma may well have been deceived into believing
that all the passengers were released.
A close family member of the Minister, believed to be his young brother,
plus Clive Zimuto, a senior figure in Mangoma’s Makoni North constituency,
have not been seen or heard from since Wednesday, according to provincial
spokesman Pishai Muchauraya.
‘What we have gathered at this moment is that when our members purportedly
texted Mangoma to say they had been released, none of them used their mobile
numbers. It was from a number that none of us recognize and that line went
dead since Wednesday.
‘This is a mystery to us and their disappearance is very out of character.
Both their families and us as a party are very concerned, and ask for the
help of the public in tracing them. What we suspect now is these people are
still being detained at the 3 Brigade,’ Muchauraya said.
The MP told SW Radio Africa that since the military base was out of bounds
to civilians, they were going to have to engage lawyers on Monday to force
the army to release them
‘It’s always difficult dealing with the army but we are going to force them
to surrender these people through the courts,’ Muchauraya added.
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