Makone predicts bloodbath in Zimbabwe

March 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

By Lance Guma

HARARE – The co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone has predicted that
Zimbabwe is headed for a bloodbath “unless the regional and international
powers that be stop playing games. I said it before and I will say it
again,” she emphasised.

Makone was responding to a question on social networking site Facebook that
had been posted by SW Radio Africa journalist Tichaona Sibanda who queried
why the police were targeting former ZBC TV presenter Jestina Mukoko who is
now the coordinator of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP).

“Jestina Mukoko is a very good friend of mine, a very lovely woman and a
good mother who loves her son so dearly. One thing she’s not is a criminal.
And certainly she’s not a threat to Zimbabwe’s national security,” Sibanda

“So why do the police make it their job to intimidate, bully and harass a
defenseless human rights defender?” he asked. Sibanda and Mukoko worked
together as journalists at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) over
a decade ago.

In response Makone said “she (Mukoko) is not being persecuted for who she
is, but for what she represents. After our last discussion with Chihuri I
asked her to ensure that her ZPP papers were in order. She and Irene Petras
assured me that ZPP was not a PVO, but a registered TRUST.

“However some mischievous propagandist wants to have her victimized at all
costs even though she has absolutely no case to answer. I am personally
committed to pronounce anywhere any time that she represents a bona fide
registered organization.

“She refused to bow to pressure after her first ordeal when they bundled her
out of her home dressed in nothing more than a flimsy night dress. Now under
a government of national unity, they want to pretend to be applying the rule
of law. She is a principled Human Rights Defender. She will prevail.”

“I said it before and I will say it again. Unless the regional and
international powers that be stop playing games, this time we are in for a
blood bath. Some people believe they have the title deeds to Zimbabwe and
its wealth. Period,” Makone warned.

Police Chief Augustine Chihuri is claiming that Mukoko who is the Zimbabwe
Peace Project coordinator is on the run after police allegedly confiscated
documents and communication devices her organisation was distributing.

Chihuri a self-confessed diehard Zanu PF loyalist is quoted saying “police
are looking for Jestina Mukoko to assist us with investigations and if
anyone sees her, please advise any nearest police station. We want her to
give us the mission of her organisation, thus anyone with information on
where she is, help us.”

The police last month raided the offices of the ZPP and claim to have found
“communication gadgetry that includes Eton Microlink radios and Huawei
Ascend Y100 cellphones fitted with geographical positioning system (GPS)
reportedly to be used in the run-up to the elections and the actual poll.”

Critics of the regime however point out that the police are working as an
extension of Zanu PF by cracking down on NGO’s that are key in exposing
human rights abuses and attempts to rig the next election. The police are
also seizing shortwave radios in a futile effort to stifle the free flow of

In December 2008 Mukoko was abducted from her Norton home in the early hours
of the morning by six men and a woman who did not identify themselves. In
her testimony she said they forced her into a Mazda Familia vehicle and
ordered her to lie low on the seat of the car.

“Immediately a woollen jersey was put across my face, covering my eyes, nose
and mouth (and) as a result I had problems breathing and almost suffocated,”
Mukoko said.

Once at the torture base Mukoko said they put her in solitary confinement
for 19 days while trying to force her to admit recruiting youths for
military training in Botswana to dislodge Robert Mugabe from power.

“Firstly I was assaulted underneath my feet with a rubber-like object which
was at least one metre long and flexible, while seated on the floor. Later I
was told to raise my feet onto a table and the other people in the room
started to assault me underneath my feet. This assault lasted for at least
five to six minutes. They took a break and then continued again with the
beatings,” she said.

After this period she was able briefly, in the presence of police, to see
her family. Without warning she was brought to court on Christmas Eve,
alongside other detainees who had been abducted and held for 76 days. The
detainees included a 72-year-old man and a two-year-old boy, all facing
banditry charges.

The case collapsed and the charges were dropped.

It’s suspected Mukoko was taken to the Goromonzi torture base, so infamous a
report on torture compiled by the Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition was titled
‘Cries from Goromonzi – Inside Zimbabwe’s Torture Chambers’. The report
contained 23 harrowing testimonies from individuals tortured between 2000
and 2009.


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