BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
MYSTERY continues to deepen over the disappearance and torture of three MDC Alliance officials after NewsDay learnt that one of the abductees, Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe’s vehicle was found parked at Harare Central Police Station.
Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were allegedly arrested last week after staging a flash demonstration in Harare’s high-density suburb of Warren Park.
They were later picked at a roadside at Muchapondwa business centre in Bindura South two days from the day they went missing.
The three are currently at a private medical centre in Waterfalls, Harare, where they are receiving treatment, with their doctors and lawyers claiming they are still traumatised after being sexually abused with a gun and forced to drink each other’s urine, apart from being physically assaulted.
Police have denied abducting and torturing the trio, claiming they were never in their custody.
This was, however, despite confirming to the media on Wednesday that they had arrested Mamombe and her colleagues for violating the lockdown order and protesting.
Chimbiri last week claimed they were taken to Harare Central Police Station, and on the pretext that they were being taken back to the crime scene, forced into a Toyota Wish.
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They were allegedly blindfolded and driven away to a wooded area, where they were assaulted before being dumped in Bindura.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe at the weekend said he had instructed Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to investigate the case, which has divided opinions with most people linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration accusing the trio of faking the abduction and torture.
But to add mystery to the case, sources have disclosed that at the time of arrest, Mamombe was driving a silver Mercedes-Benz that has since been found parked at Harare Central Police Station.
NewsDay could not establish when the car was parked, but a well-placed source who refused to be named for security reasons claimed: “She was arrested at a police roadblock (Showgrounds) after the demonstration in Warren Park. A police officer got into their car and took them to the police station, where they were later abducted. Her car is still parked at the station.”
NewsDay went to Harare Central Police Station on Sunday and saw the silver Mercedes-Benz, registration number AFE 9222 still parked just outside the police station.
Investigations by NewsDay showed the car was registered in the name of a Chisipite man.
The man’s number was not reachable.
Mamombe’s husband, Mfundo Mlilo, confirmed that the vehicle was the one the Harare West MP was driving on the day and that it was parked at Harare Central Police Station since Wednesday.
“They were arrested at the police roadblock. Police officers got into their car and ordered them to drive to the police station. At the police station, they were ordered into another car, leaving their car parked there. The keys got lost during the abduction and torture,” Mlilo said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi requested written questions which were not responded to by the time of going to print last night, but Kazembe at the weekend said he was not aware that Mamombe’s car was parked at the police station.
Mamombe’s lawyer, Jeremiah Bhamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, refused to comment on the issue for fear of interfering with police investigations.
According to sources, the police on Sunday interviewed one of the three women and failed to interview the others after doctors told them they were still not in the right state of mind to be interviewed.
There was a brief scuffle when Chimbiri was yesterday taken out in an ambulance for a CT scan.
Her father, who claimed he had not been advised, blocked the ambulance, a move that forced some women and an MDC Alliance security officer to accompany them.
MDC Alliance secretary for welfare, Maureen Kademaunga, however, said the police called her in the morning advising her that Chimbiri would be taken away for a scan.
“What is worrying me is the increase in the number of police officers at the hospital. Most of them are armed. Imagine walking at the hospital with guns and those girls, whose source of trauma is the gun, how do you think they will feel?” Kademaunga asked rhetorically.
“But the most saddening thing is, when we came here, police brought some people claiming they were forensic scientists. They took pictures of the girls naked and the next day, those pictures of the naked girls went viral under those ghost social media accounts run by varakashi, with the girls now described as porn stars. This is bad.”