Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Trial against me can proceed virtually: Marova slams Ziyambi for ‘lying’

Opposition activist Netsai Marova has told Nehanda Radio she only went to Europe to study while dismissing Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi’s allegations that she absconded while on bail.

Ziyambi and the police believe Marova absconded and ran away to Europe after being granted bail in the case she and legislator Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri are facing charges of staging their abduction in 2020.

The three were allegedly abducted by suspected security agents from police custody after being arrested for demonstrating in Harare over the plight of the poor during the height of Covid-19 pandemic.

They were found four days later in Bindura, some 89 kilometers from capital city Harare, with bruises and injuries. 

They were then bizarrely arrested for faking their disappearance.

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Presenting a statement during the country’s third cycle universal periodic review before the president of the Human Rights Council in Geneva last week, Ziyambi said police investigations revealed that the three opposition activists had staged their abduction and Marova had absconded.

Recently abducted and arrested main opposition MDC Alliance youth leaders, Joanah Mamombe (MP), Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marova
Abducted and arrested main opposition MDC Alliance (now CCC) youth leaders, Joanah Mamombe (MP), Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marova

In an exclusive interview with Nehanda Radio, Marova denied accusations that she ran away from justice citing she only went to Europe to further her education. She added that her trial could also be conducted virtually according to the law.

“Firstly it should be known that i did not abscond any court. Despite charges being leveled against me, the fabric of my social life must still be maintained. The oppressive bail conditions were making it difficult and all attempts to have them relaxed to enable me to proceed with my academic pursuits as i answer to the alleged charges were all thwarted by the State.

“The trial against me can still proceed as the law allows virtual court sittings, and indeed Ziyambi alludes to these. If he is sincere, he could arrange for these virtual sittings in my case and i will gladly attend, but Ziyambi, like the Government he represents, are full of hypocrisy, they say one thing and do the opposite.”

Marova said she would come back to Zimbabwe to face justice on the completion of her studies.

“On completion of your studies, i am determined to return home and have my name cleared and continue with my life. Regrettably the conditions imposed by the State made it impossible for me to continue with my life while answering to their malicious charges at the same time,” she said.

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) youth leader accused Ziyambi and President Emmerson Mnangagwa of “lying” against her to the international community.

“Their express denials of the enforced disappearances, and their bid to accuse me of false abduction is in fact one of the key features that constitutes the crime of enforced disappearance. There are 4 elements to an enforced disappearance, which are:

“(a) Deprivation of liberty against will, as it happened to my case.

“(b) this is done by the state or with state acquiescence – in my case i was arrested at a police roadblock by persons in police uniform, who took us first to a police station – harare central police station and disappeared us from there – police spokesperson confirmed our arrest to various media houses on 13/05/20 including StarFM, ZB TV, Herald (all state run media houses) and private media like Daily News etc

“(c) followed by denial or refusal to acknowledge involvement by the Government as is now happening with Ziyambi singing from the same hym as ED, Kazembe, SB Moyo, Nick mangwana etc,

“(d) concealment of fate or whereabouts – no one knows where we were during 13-15 May, neither do I ….so our case ticks all 4 boxes of an enforced disappearances and Ziyambi’s utterances come as not a surprise to me, it is just clear state defense of it’s usual acts,” Marova told Nehanda Radio.