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MDC official recounts abduction ordeal

ONE of the three MDC Alliance officials, Cecilia Chimbiri, who was allegedly abducted on Wednesday, yesterday recounted the horrific sexual and physical abuse they endured at the hands of the kidnappers.

ONE of the three MDC Alliance officials, Cecilia Chimbiri, who was allegedly abducted on Wednesday, yesterday recounted the horrific sexual and physical abuse they endured at the hands of the kidnappers.


By Munyaradzi Madzokere/Blessed Mhlanga

Chimbiri was one of the three opposition official who went missing on Wednesday after staging a flash protest in Warren Park high-density suburb, alongside Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe and Netsai Marova.

Badly assaulted, the three were later found at Muchapondwa Business Centre in Bindura South on Thursday night.

They were taken to a private Harare clinic, where they narrated their ordeal to leader Nelson Chamisa and several other party officials.

Chimbiri said the abductors took turns to suck her breasts while shoving the barrel of a gun up her anal passage.

“They were taking turns to suck my boobs. They forced a gun into my anal passage. They forced us to drink urine. They beat us under our feet, (and on) my back. They were also beating us with bare hands,” said a visibly shaken Chimbiri.

“But most of all, they violated me. They sexually assaulted me. They asked me if I had labia minora, and I thought they wanted to rape me. They went on to force the barrel of their gun and a stick up my anal passage.”

She said they were forced to sing non-stop and beaten every time they stopped, and they nicknamed her “Dolly Parton”.

The other two officials, Mamombe and Marova, were sleeping when Chamisa visited them yesterday afternoon.

According to Chamisa, the three abductees said when they were arrested on Wednesday, they were taken to Harare Central Police Station, but later picked up by other security details on the pretext that they wanted to take them to the scene of crime in Warren Park.

They were shoved into a black Toyota Wish, then blindfolded and driven away, tortured and later dumped in Bindura.

But police yesterday insisted it was carrying investigations on what happened, denying it ever arrested the three, despite on Wednesday telling State media that they had arrested some of the protestors.

“We are appealing to members of the public with information surrounding the matter to come forward and contact any nearest police station to assist the police with investigations,” police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement yesterday.

Information permanent secretary Ndabaningi Mangwana also issued a statement yesterday, claiming government was not aware of what happened to the three opposition officials.

“The three women were part of the group of MDC youths that defied the lockdown laws in the country and took part in an illegal demonstration in Warren Park,” Mangwana said in the statement.

“Police then sought to interview them on suspicion of committing crimes related to the lockdown and holding of illegal demonstrations.

While the police were looking for them, social media chatter indicating that the three had disappeared was observed.”

But Chamisa yesterday accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of fronting the abduction and torture of the three party members in an effort to sustain his stay in power.

The opposition leader said the abduction carried Mnangagwa’s signature.

“Across the year of 2019, we recorded a total of 49 abductions, yet they lie to the world that this is self-inflicted, it’s false abductions, when it’s clear that the same pattern is being used and their intentions are known. It’s all meant to preserve an illegitimate regime, all meant to try and defend an unelected regime, all meant to defend Mr Mnangagwa,” Chamisa charged.

He alleged that all the abductions and torture were being done at the behest of Mnangagwa.

“Those people doing it are doing it on behalf of Mr Mnangagwa. What makes it so obvious is that Mr Mnangagwa has never condemned this and not even a single arrest has been done of all these cases and one wonders why,” Chamisa said.

The opposition leader immediately called for the intervention of Sadc and the international community to rescue Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe has become a hotspot of human rights abuses and crimes against humanity … We appeal to Sadc and the international community saying we have a serious political crisis in Zimbabwe, the human rights abuses are of international proportions,” Chamisa said.

After being located, pictures of the three activists, who were initially reported to have been arrested by police, showed they were visibly shaken.

Chamisa said they had been degraded, violated and beaten by their abductors.

“They are shaken. Even if you just open the door they will be shaken fearful. What kind of a person would suck the breast of a young woman just because she has demonstrated? These are not humans, they are beasts,” he said.

The MDC Alliance leader said the time for talks with Mnangagwa had lapsed, with only international intervention being the only option.

“We have said we want talks with Mr Mnangagwa, but how do you talk to a hyena that wants blood,” he said.

Chamisa said time was ripe for citizens to draw a line in the sand and confront tyranny head on.

“It takes a good man to do nothing for evil to persist. This evil is persisting because we have not come together as Zimbabweans to say enough is enough, it’s time for us to draw a line in the sand,” Chamisa said.

Families of the abducted were visibly shaken after seeing their loved ones in a sorry state, with some failing to hold back their tears.