|25. June 2010
MDC activists abducted in Marondera during outreach exercise
Public hearings for a new constitution continue to be blighted by the endless persecution of people taking part, or those known to be aligned to the MDC. On Friday there were reports that 3 MDC activists were abducted by state security agents in Chief Svosve’s area in Mashonaland East province.
Eye witnesses say Rodreck Shamu, Temba Masimara and another person identified only as Makunyadze, were abducted by a group of armed men driving a white double-cab CAM truck. Worryingly for the MDC the whereabouts of the activists remains unknown. The party says the three were targeted because they had been instrumental in mobilising MDC supporters in the area to participate in the outreach meetings.
Details provided by the MDC information department are that ‘Shamu was the first to be abducted at Twoboy Business Centre, while the same people followed Masimara and kidnapped him at Village 17 in ward 21 of Marondera East.’ Makunyadze was later abducted by the same people outside Marondera Hotel.
In Bindura the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition reports that outreach meetings continue to be marred by chaos and incidences of politically motivated violence. On Thursday at Matepatepa Country Club and Number One Play Center in Bindura ‘ZANU PF participants were seen reading from prepared scripts allegedly written by their political party during the proceedings. Both meetings were characterized by high levels of tension between opposing party members.’ The coalition expressed concern that if participants have to rely on ‘party-written scripts’ to make contributions, clearly people ‘are being denied a right to freely air out their views.’ The group said this was compromising the legitimacy of the constitution making process. The absence of the police at both meetings did not help matters either the coalition said.
On Thursday we reported how 200 uniformed soldiers marched in the Chikangwe and Chiedza suburbs of Karoi, in the politically volatile Mashonaland West province. The soldiers were said to be chanting ZANU PF slogans and ‘threatening to bring war to the doorsteps of those who will give different views to those of ZANU PF in the constitution consultation meetings’.
There is now a growing worry that the same army, state security and police units who were deployed to brutalize opposition supporters in the June 2008 elections have now been reactivated. The abductions in Chief Svosve’s area have been an ominous sign of things to come. The soldiers who marched in Karoi, arbitrary arrests and incidents of violence in Bindura, Murehwa, Chinhoyi, Marondera, Mutare and Chegutu, all point to an organized campaign.
(SW Radio Africa news)