Stop the Abductions!

Stop the Abductions!

Heal Zimbabwe condemns the abduction of #Tajamuka/Sesijikile acting spokesperson, Silvanos Mudzvova by alleged state agents on 12 September 2016. Mudzvova was abducted by about six men who broke into his house in Crowborough.

The six men took him and forced him into their car while blindfolding him and drove him to a bush that is close to Farm B in Nharira Hills. Upon arrival, the six men took turns to assault and torture him and interrogated him on a wide range of issues that included the source of funding for #Tajamuka/Sesijikile. The six assailants then left Mudzvova unconscious and drove off. Mudzvova is currently admitted at Avenues clinic.

Heal Zimbabwe is greatly worried by the increase in the number of abductions with the latest being that of Mudzvova. Last month,Gift Ostallos Siziba, an activist working as the public relations officer at Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ), was reportedly abducted by suspected plain clothes men during protests that broke out in Harare .On 27 August 2016 again, around 1am, Kerina Gweshe Dewah, the MDC-T Harare Provincial Vice Chairperson, was also abducted by 18 unknown armed men from her Glen View home.

Heal Zimbabwe notes that the continued use of abductions and torture as a tool to punish and instil fear in citizens to intimidate them from peacefully demonstrating and petitioning government is regrettable. Government should respect the right to life, assembly and association instead of subjecting people to torture. In addition, the government should look for amicable means of addressing concerns being raised by protestors.

The latest abduction of Mudzvova come at a time when the rest of the world is this week commemorating International Day of Democracy under the theme, “Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” while Mudzvova is nursing wounds sustained at the hands of alleged state agents at a local clinic. The United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1945 in Article 21(3) establishes democracy as the basis of good governance. Heal Zimbabwe implores the government that as a member state of the United Nations, it should adhere to the principles of democracy such as respecting constitutional provisions such as the right to demonstrate and petition.