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Editorial Comment: Abductions, torture now a serious cancer

Takudzwa Ngadziore, one of the youngest MPs from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was seized by armed men near his home in Harare as he was heading to Parliament

The abduction of an opposition legislator by suspected state security agents last week must galvanise Zimbabweans to demand an end to impunity against government critics and new politics where citizens’ choices are respected.

Takudzwa Ngadziore, one of the youngest MPs from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was seized by armed men near his home in Harare as he was heading to Parliament.

Ngadziore managed to livestream the incident on social media and clear images of one of the men behind the heinous crime went viral.

He was later found near Mazowe badly beaten and naked amid allegations that he was injected with an unknown substance.

Predictably, some senior government officials were quick to claim that the abduction was staged before the police could carry out any investigations.

Police said they had not started investigations because the case was yet to be reported despite the fact that there is a video of a man brandishing an AK47 in public and that this is an incident involving a public official.

Ngadziore’s abduction came barely a week after former CCC MP James Chidhakwa was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by unknown people. Chidhakwa was also dumped on the outskirts of Harare with his head shaved.

He said the people who tortured him also injected him with an unknown substance.

Soon after the August 23 and 24 elections Harare councillor Womberaishe Nhende and activist Sonele Mukhuhlani were abducted, tortured and dumped outside the capital.

There are several other cases of CCC members and government critics, who have suffered similar fate, but police have not accounted for a single perpetrator of the barbaric crimes.

Zimbabwe actually has a long history of politically motivated kidnappings and torture that date back to the early years of the country’s independence especially at the height of the Gukurahundi genocide in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

State security agents have been allowed to act with impunity in their efforts to silence government critics and police have never attempted to nip the crimes in the bud.

It will only take Zimbabweans coming together to say enough is enough to end the impunity.

It is not a crime to hold divergent views from the ruling class and no one has a right to silence citizens by violating their rights.

Abductions and torture are crimes against humanity and the perpetrators must know that one day they would be held to account through the local or international justice system.

Indeed nothing lasts forever.

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