Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Dabengwa says Nabanyama murder still worries him

By Lance Guma

The president of the revived Zimbabwe African People’s Party (ZAPU) Dumiso Dabengwa has said the kidnapping and later disappearance of MDC polling agent Patrick Nabanyama in June 2000 still worries him to this day.

In a wide ranging interview on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time, Dabengwa said ‘much as I want to find a solution to the disappearance of Nabanyama, it happened in actual fact when I was Minister of Home Affairs and I think I did everything possible to find out what actually happened. I was not able; the police were not able to come up with any solution.’

Dumiso Dabengwa and Patricia Nabanyama
Dumiso Dabengwa and Patricia Nabanyama

Nabanyama was an election agent for current Education Minister Senator David Coltart and was abducted from his home. Stanley Ncube, Ephraim Moyo, Julius Sibanda and Simon Rwodzi were initially charged with kidnapping. The four allegedly took him to the home of war veteran Cain Nkala and he was never seen again. Nkala was later murdered amid reports he wanted to come clean on the case.

‘I think those that are responsible were smart enough to ensure that they did not have leave any marks because they could not be traced,’ Dabengwa said. Because Nabanyama’s body has still not been found, it was also not possible to charge the four with murder. In their defence the four accused said they only took Nabanyama to the home of Cain Nkala and what happened to him after that they did not know.

Last year Senator Coltart told the Newsday newspaper that “the problem that we face in this case is that the accused persons were never charged with kidnapping as that offence was covered by the amnesty pronounced by President Robert Mugabe in 2001. Despite the fact that the kidnapping case was rock solid, they evaded prosecution because of the amnesty, which as far as I know is still in place.”

On Thursday Dabengwa told us he met one of the people accused of murdering Nabanyama and they repeated the same position that they didn’t know what happened to him after they handed him to Nkala. Asked if the state had a hand in the murders and this being the reason why no one has been pursued seriously Dabengwa said “it’s possible and one would be led to conclude that way.”

Because Nabanyama’s body has not been found for more than 7 years a Bulawayo provincial magistrate last year in October declared him dead. His widow Patricia is still fighting to have the abductors charged with murder. Although the Attorney General Johannes Tomana has declined to prosecute he is still refusing to issue a certificate that will allow lawyers to carry out a private prosecution.

Don’t miss the full interview with Dumiso Dabengwa to be broadcast Wednesday 26/01/11 on Question Time. Lance Guma questions him on working with Mugabe, seized ZAPU properties, any possible alliances with Tsvangirai, targeted sanctions, land redistribution, war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda and his campaign of terror, his remarks in 2000 that the MDC would win an election even if they fielded a donkey as a candidate and many other questions from listeners. SW Radio Africa