JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday accused people who claim to have been abducted of being desperate attention-seekers, who would have been involved in domestic violence at their homes.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
He was responding to questions from MPs in both the National Assembly and Senate over security issues in the country pertaining to abductions of people in different parts of the country.
The MPs also wanted to know why the police were mounting roadblocks in different parts of the country ordering people to disembark from commuter omnibuses and subjecting them to severe frisking, as well as ordering the moving public to produce national identity cards.
In the Senate, Ziyambi said the people claiming that they had been abducted were desperate attention seekers who fought at their homes and then lied that they had been abducted and beaten up by unknown government assailants. Recently, there have been reports of abductions of people, with the latest casualties being Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe leader Obert Masaraure and comedienne Samantha Kureya, who is popularly known as “Gonyeti”.
In March 2015, journalist-turned-activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by suspected government agents and has not yet been found.
The issue of police roadblocks was raised as a matter of privilege in the National Assembly by Dzivarasekwa MP Edwin Mushoriwa (MDC Alliance,) who said police were violating the law by mounting roadblocks and refusing passage to commuters without identity cards.
“If you had passed through a police roadblock today, you would have seen that commuter omnibuses were being stopped, people searched and those without identity cards denied entry into the central business district,” Mushoriwa said.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
“The Home Affairs minister must explain why the police are violating the Constitution and laws of this country by treating Zimbabweans in an inhumane manner.”
Ziyambi responded saying the police were ensuring that there is maintenance of peace and order.
“Where there are threats of disturbance of peace to members of society, the police will use any necessary means to ensure there is peace and order, including searching commuter omnibuses to see if there are people carrying dangerous weapons — and there is no need for the Home Affairs minister to bring a ministerial statement on the issue,” Ziyambi said.
But Mushoriwa maintained that the actions by the police were in violation of the Police Act and the Constitution.
He said even if a person failed to produce an ID, the law demanded that it should be produced within seven days.
Later during the Senate question-and-answer session, Midlands Senator Morgen Komichi asked Ziyambi to explain government policy on forced abductions of people at night.
But Ziyambi said: “That is a false statement and you cannot expect a minister to come before Parliament to talk lies. No one has ever been fingered for these abductions and there is no one ever sent by government to abduct people. Government has no policy to fight people that voted for Zanu PF.
“What we have noted is that there are people who no longer have ideas and they want to change this regime and are going outside saying government is abducting people. If you have evidence, then bring it forward. You should not bring bar talk here.”
Manicaland Senator Douglas Mwonzora then asked Ziyambi to explain if he had then arrested the people who were lying about the abductions, and the ones he referred to as no longer having ideas and wanting regime change.
Ziyambi then said no arrests had been made because those who claim to have been abducted have not reported their cases to the police.
Komichi further asked Ziyambi to explain if government was then declaring that they will leave people at the mercy of people with AK-47s who have been abducting and instilling fear on citizens?
Ziyambi’s dodging responses angered Harare Metropolitan Senator Elias Mudzuri, who asked the Justice Minister to take the matter seriously because it was a security issue, which was putting the lives of Zimbabweans into danger and must not be treated in a partisan manner.