by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – SUSPECTED state security agents have allegedly kidnapped and tortured a pro-democracy campaigner in what is believed to be a crackdown by government ahead of a protest scheduled by the Zimbabwean opposition for Friday (tomorrow).
Tatenda Mombeyarara (aged 37) has been hospitalised after the torture that followed his abduction by six heavily armed men from his residence in Chitungwiza, 30km southeast of the capital Harare, on Wednesday morning.
His tormentors reportedly using a torture method commonly referred to as Falanga, which entails beating under the feet.
This was meant to extract details about the protest action organised by the Movement for Democratic (MDC) over the deepening economic problems.
Mombeyarara was later dumped at a quarry mine near the Hatfield suburb of Harare.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights stated it had documented similar cases of torture against rights defenders in a desperate bid by state agents to extract confessions during interrogations.
Mombeyarara is one of several people arrested in May and charged with subverting constitutional government for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
He is currently out of custody on remand.
It is feared Mnangagwa’s government could deal brutally with any protests by the opposition and public disgruntled by escalating economic problems.
Human rights groups accuse the army of shooting dead at least 12 civilians during demonstrations against a steep increase in fuel in January.
Scores of people were arrested.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Non-governmental Organisations Forum was on Friday (tomorrow) scheduled to hold a media briefing on the deteriorating human rights situation.
- CAJ News