Gvt says third force could be responsible for abductions of activists

Gvt says third force could be responsible for abductions of activists

Zimbabwe government spokesman Nick Mangwana today said a third force whose aim is to tarnish the image of President Emerson Mnangagwa’s administration may be responsible for a spate of abductions which has been taking place in the run-up to the planned demonstration by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change set for tomorrow.

Mnangagwa has allowed tomorrow’s demonstrations provided there is no violence.

Security forces have warned that they will not fold their hands if the demonstrations turn violent.

Mangwana said the government has noted with concern and distress reports of alleged abductions and torture of citizens by unknown assailants.

“Since the emergence of the new dispensation, there has always been a force comprised of discharged and disgruntled of former members of the old establishment, of whom some are trained. These have shown a determination to impair President Mnangagwa’s image as a sincere reformer through various acts of malice and criminality in order to cause both local and international outrage,” Mangwana said.

“This is a Third force that we have reasonable grounds to be in existence. Its hands in the incidences of alleged violation of human rights, where established cannot be discounted. The police will leave no stone unturned in efforts to detect, and act upon any violation of human rights,” he said.

Human rights organisations say six people have so far been abducted.

Mangwana, however, said only three had been reported.

He named the three as Morgen Gumbo and Blessing Kanotunga both of Mufakose, and Tatenda Mombeyarara of Chitungwiza.

All three were allegedly abducted and assaulted on 13 August.

Mangwana said all three cases were being investigated and the outcome would be made public.