Zimbabwe government pokes holes in MDC trio abduction claim


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The women initially claimed that they had been arrested at a roadblock mounted near the National Sports Stadium, but they are now claiming that they were arrested at the Harare Show Grounds roadblock just outside the Central Business District.

“It is perhaps understandable that this misrepresentation may be intended to avoid incriminating themselves against the charges that have been leveled against them in relation to their participation in the illegal Warren Park demonstration. This therefore renders it difficult for anyone to tell which is fact or fiction in their accounts.”

Kazembe said another inconsistent line in the trio’s story was Mamombe’s claim that she owned the car the women were driving on the day, when in fact the vehicle is owned by one Andrew Manongore.

“More substantively, pertinent to the present case is that while Joana Mamombe and her fellow complainants claim that they parked the vehicle behind TM supermarket, Orr Street Harare on 13 May, 2020 in the process of their being arrested, there are witnesses who claim that the vehicle was only parked there on Saturday 16 May, 2020 after 3pm where it was discovered on 18 May, 2020,” he said.

The women are now also denying having participated in the illegal demonstration in Warren Park high density suburb despite there being pictorial evidence and also having initially confessed to participating in the demonstration.

Kazembe said the police were also denied access to the three when they sought to record official statements from them as they were advised that the women were too traumatised to speak, but ironically, the trio were granting media interviews and also entertaining visitors including party officials and foreign diplomats.

“As a result, police only managed to record official statements from Cecilia Chimbiri on 19 May, 2020 and from Joanna Mamombe and Netsai Marova on 25 May, 2020, one week and two weeks after the alleged abduction, respectively,” he said.

“Needless to say, without at all pre-emptying due process of the law, their three statements show glaring signs of rehearsal and even possible coaching which may not stand up to rigorous cross examination.”

Kazembe said results of a medical examination carried out on the three women said there were no injuries or swelling consistent with the torture they claimed to have been subjected to.

The medical examination was carried out in the presence of two human rights doctors of their choice on May 15.

“In a bid to ascertain that if there was any rape or sexual assault, samples were taken and results are pending,” he said.- New Ziana

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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