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Zimbabwe abduction allegation has 'glaring inconsistencies'

by BBC
05 Jun 2020 at 08:58hrs | Views
The government in Zimbabwe says its investigations into claims of state torture and abduction of three opposition officials have thrown up "glaring inconsistencies", although authorities are not yet conclusively dismissing the trio's allegation of torture.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has called for an independent investigation into the alleged abduction and abuse of MP Joana Mamombe, and youth leaders Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova - a reflection of its deep mistrust of state institutions and the police's ability to investigate itself.

Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe told journalists that the actual injuries were inconsistent with the women's account.

Independent doctors are yet to release the results of their investigations.

Mr Kazembe also said technical evidence of the three's whereabouts showed "substantial and unexplained time" at various locations in the city, during the period the three women say they were abducted.

The minister also suggested the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights and another medical support group, both of which have historically treated victims of state abuse, were part of what he described as a "malicious choreography".

Doctors from the organisation are caring for the women and conducting parallel medical assessments

The women say they were arrested by the police at a roadblock as they returned from a march and taken to a Harare police station. They allege that they were then abducted from there and subjected to hours of torture and sexual assault at an out-of-town location.

They remain in hospital but were charged last week with violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

The MDC says the alleged abduction fits the profile of previous attacks on its members.

The government says abductions and disappearances have been faked to score political points and tarnish President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government

Source - BBC