THE MDC Alliance has threatened to take to the streets over the mysterious ‘disappearances’ of the party’s three female Youth Assembly officials, including a serving MP, who were initially reported as having been arrested after staging a flash demo in Warren Park yesterday.
Mystery continues to surround their suspected abductions after national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi initially confirmed their ‘arrests’, only to take a dramatic U-turn after opposition officials failed to locate them at three different police stations in the capital Harare.
Speaking to Zwnews Thursday afternoon, the party’s Youth Assembly secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs, Agency Gumbo said while the party was pursuing legal means over its missing leaders, the staging of mass protests was ‘immediate’.
“We are contemplating pursuing both legal means and staging demonstrations over our missing MPs and the protests are immediate,” Gumbo said.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, the MDC Communications Department condemned the ‘evil abduction’ of the three who include Harare West legislator, Joana Mamombe who is Youth Assembly secretary for Policy and Research, Cecilia Chimbiri (deputy chair) and Netsai Marowa (deputy organising secretary).
“We demand their unconditional and immediate release. This must be followed up with a strong reprimand and disciplinary action against all the repressive apparatus involved in the abductions including the individuals who gave the orders,” the statement partly reads.
“As the People’s party, we have no doubt that our Youth Assembly leaders forced disappearances has the tacit approval of Emmerson Mnangagwa’s illegitimate regime. Indeed, the illegitimate regime has been at the centre of using abductions as a strategy to deal with dissent,” the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition party said.
Meanwhile, various countries have taken a swipe at the Mnangagwa administration following the abduction of the three senior MDC Officials. The US Embassy took to micro-blogging site Twitter, to raise concern over the abduction of the trio.
“3 (MDC Alliance) officials are missing since yesterday after protesting food shortages. We are concerned and urge police to locate them. We hope they are safe and sound,” the embassy tweeted.
On the other hand, the Embassy of Canada to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Angola chipped in, expressing its concerns:
“We are worried about the safety of the three female MDC officials who were reported missing last night. We call on authorities to investigate and to assist their lawyers and families locate them.”
The United Kingdom also said, through its Zimbabwean embassy, that authorities must use resources at their disposal to locate forcibly abducted female trio.
“Concerned to hear lawyers still not told of whereabouts of 3 female MDC officials reportedly arrested in Harare. Urge authorities to use their resources to locate urgently in line with security services’ obligation to act at all times in line with Zimbabwe’s law (and) constitution,” said the UK in Zimbabwe.
From the epoch of deposed late dictator Robert Mugabe to his successor and incumbent leader Mnangagwa, the ruling Zanu PF is notoriously known for using abductions to crush dissent in the politically volatile southern African nation.
Journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara and Patrick Nabanyama are still missing, years after their alleged abductions and the ruling party has distanced itself from their disappearances.