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Zimbabwe govt fingered in enforced disappearances

by Staff reporter
02 Nov 2023 at 05:53hrs | Views
Prominent human rights activist Jestina Mukoko has exposed the government's involvement in the enforced disappearances of individuals in Zimbabwe. She revealed that Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, who was Home Affairs minister at the time, knew her whereabouts after her abduction in 2008.

Mukoko, who is the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), was abducted by armed State security agents in December 2008 and remained missing for 20 days. Speaking at an event organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and women's groups, Mukoko shared that Mohadi had assured her family of her safety.

Her brother met with Mohadi, who disclosed that Mukoko was still alive, stating, "You are looking for her in the wrong places." This revelation highlights the State's role in enforced disappearances, a pattern that has persisted in Zimbabwe.

Jestina Mukoko was later accused of attempting to overthrow the government of then-President Robert Mugabe and spent approximately three months in Chikurubi Female Prison in Harare. The Supreme Court eventually ordered a permanent stay of criminal proceedings against her in September 2009.

Enforced disappearances of government critics and human rights activists have been an ongoing concern in Zimbabwe. Some individuals, like Patrick Nabanyama and Itai Dzamara, have yet to be accounted for following their abductions in 2000 and 2015, respectively.

International human rights activists have called on the government to ratify the 2007 Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as enforced disappearances are considered a crime against humanity under international law.

Source - newsday