By Lisa Masuku
GOVERNMENT is committed to its obligation to protect human rights and dignity of all citizens, irrespective of race, gender or political affiliation for this reason investigations for the alleged sexual abuse, torture and abduction of the three female MDC leaders are being conducted to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and international trade, Dr Sibusiso Moyo said this in a statement on Monday.
He said that it is disheartening that some sections of the media and even the international community is already blaming the government for the alleged abductions.
“Whilst the relevant agencies of the state are fully seized with the matter and are already investigating all aspects of the allegations made by the three ladies in question- including the circumstances surrounding the unauthorised staging of a demonstration during a national lockdown, in deliberate violations SI177 of 2020.it is most disconcerting to note that some sections of the media and even some within the diplomatic community appear to have already concluded that the Zimbabwean Government was responsible for the alleged abusers,” reads the statement.
The three MDC activists, Joanna Mamombe (27), Netsai Marova (25) and Cecilia Chimbiru (33) were allegedly abducted on the 13th of May after staging an illegal demonstration in Harare’s Warren Park high-density suburb.
Despite the glaring similarities which exist between this recent alleged abduct and several such allegations in the past, The Minister said the government has refrained from drawing conclusions to allow the law to take its cause.
“Although government has refrained from drawing its own hasty conclusions, it is difficult to ignore the glaring similarities which exist between this recent alleged incident and several such allegations in the past, which have all borne similar hallmarks of stage-managed theatre, designed to soil the image of the Government and indeed the Nation, and to divert attention from the ongoing implosion and ever-shifting allegiances within some political formations in the opposition.
“As has been the case with several past alleged abductions, the current dramatic episode just happened to coincide with major international and regional events- the convening of the SADC Troika summit and the presence, in Harare of several Regional Heads of States and the impending SADC Council of Ministers virtual meeting,” said the minister.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to Article 10 of the Protocol of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of Women in Africa.
“As is already known six police officers have been arrested in connection with the alleged assault of Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu in Bulawayo, and have already appeared in court,” he said.
By Lisa Masuku