By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Zimbabweans have petitioned the international community to put pressure on the government for it to release the recently abducted and arrested main opposition MDC Alliance leaders, Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marova from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
In the petition that was initiated by MDC Alliance UK and Ireland Province Secretary for Industry and Commerce Chenayi Mutambasere, signed by many, Zimbabweans have called for the United Nations (UN), U. S Senate, UK Parliament and European Parliament to push the Zimbabwean government to release Mamombe, Marova and Chimbiri from prison and with no charges.
Nehanda Radio understands that the three reportedly suffered massive injuries and trauma, and they were admitted at a private medical facility for treatment after they were found in Bindura four days after their disappearance and were also charged for violating Covid-19 rules.
In the petition, Mutambasere has explained events that led to the disappearance of the trio by alleged state agents and their subsequent arrest after they were charged for faking their abduction.
“On 13 May three female human rights activists from the MDC Alliance party, Member of Parliament Hon. Joanah Mamombe, MDC Alliance Deputy Youth Chair Cecilia Chimbiri, and Deputy Youth SG Netsai Marova, were arrested following a protest. Their protest was a call for government to provide vulnerable communities with food during the lockdown.
“Following their arrest they were taken to Harare Central Prison. The police chief spokesperson confirmed their arrest. Subsequently the women went missing while in custody.
“Only to turn up more than 36 hours later brutally bruised and tortured. Today the government have arrested them claiming their abduction claims are fake. In spite of still being in need of medical treatment they are now in remand at Chikurubi Prison. Which is an extraordinary unprecedented heavy handedness on the part of Judiciary,” Mutambasere explained in the petition.
She added that the petition was a call to the agencies listed to put pressure on the Zimbabwe government for “this unjust treatment to stop.”
“Further the Zimbabwe government must be pressurised to release them without charge and order a full investigation into their abduction and torture,” Mutambasere added.
UN human rights experts recently urged the government of Zimbabwe to end the alleged torture, rape and abductions aimed at suppressing dissenting voices in the country.
In a statement seen by Nehanda Radio, the UN experts housed in Geneva urged the government to drop all charges against Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova.
“The charges against the three women should be dropped.
“Targeting peaceful dissidents, including youth leaders, in direct retaliation for the exercise of their freedom of association, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression is a serious violation of human rights law,” the experts said.
The experts also urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to “urgently prosecute and punish the perpetrators of this outrageous crime, and to immediately enforce a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for abductions and torture throughout the country.” Nehanda Radio