Member of Parliament Demand Explanation on Rampant Abductions.

By Letwin Mubonesi

Movement for Democratic Change Member of Parliament Settlement Chikwinya, yesterday demanded explanations and that Home Affairs minister Honorable Cain Mathema should issue a ministerial statement in Parliament explaining all the cases of abductions and torture of people that have happened in the country amid reports that at least 18 people have been affected.

A number of MDC and civil society activists have in the last few weeks been allegedly abducted by armed gunmen who even went on to torture them.

Recently popular comedian Samantha Kureya, also known as ‘Gonyeti’ in Comedy circles has been hospitalized after armed men pounced upon her place of residence in Harare home at night and tortured her.

It is alleged that Kureya’s tormentors also assaulted members of her family and left her severely injured. They also stripped her naked and even forcing her to drink water from the sewerage.

However, Member of Parliament for Mbizo Honorable Settlement Chikwinya made the demands before Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Tsitsi Gezi that the responsible authority should take a stance and provide explanations to parliament and citizens of increasing abductions of civil society activists and other popular figures.

Honorable Mathema was present in the House while Chikwinya presented the question,  however Mathema stormed out of the House before hearing the MP further.

In his plea for safety and justice of members of parliament, Chikwinya had this to say; ‘“I would like to raise a point of privilege and say that every time we pray in this House we pray in order to make laws for the good governance and maintenance of peace in this country nevertheless, it is disheartening that ever since August 14 we have seen 26 opposition MPs being abducted at night’. This was said before Mathema stormed out of the House.

While the Home Affairs Minister was finding his way out of the House, Chikwinya added that, “’Section 61 (1) (b) of the Constitution allows for freedom of expression and creation of content, but it is disheartening that in these days of high unemployment where our youths seek to eke out a living, they are abducted.

 “As MPs, while we are doing our work, we must seek to be protected, but recently Marondera Central MP Caston Matewu had his house sprayed with 21 bullets around 1:00 am. While we are doing our work as MPs we expect protection from law enforcement agents’,” he said.

Chikwinya further noted that section 58 and 59 of the Constitution speak to freedom of assembly and to demonstrate.

The Section 58 (1) reads: “Every person has the right to freedom of association and assembly, and the right not to assembly or associate with others.”

Section 59 further speaks to freedom to demonstrate and petition stating that: “Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions but these rights must be exercised peacefully.”

Chikwinya added that; ‘the laws are being wantonly ignored by members of the Executive, assisted by members of the Judiciary. I call upon the Home Affairs minister to come and give a ministerial statement in the House on this issue,” he said’.

Recently, a number of Zimbabweans, including Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Obert Masaraure and comedian “Gonyeti”, have been abducted and tortured by unknown people.

Concerned by the violence on demonstrators and opposition supporters, European Union countries last week issued a statement slamming the government’’s repression on demonstrators.

“Intimidation, harassment and physical attacks on human rights defenders, trade unionists and civil society representatives as well as opposition politicians have become a cause for concern. 

Meanwhile, some leaders of the opposition including Thabita Khumalo and Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya were arrested over the August 16 demonstrations that saw several people being beaten up by the police with many sustaining body injuries.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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