Harare-Three MDC-A female activists, who were allegedly abducted a few weeks ago, were charged with contravening the lockdown regulations at a bedside hearing held at Parktown Hospital in Waterfalls on Wednesday, the NewsDay reports.
Harare Magistrate Babra Mateko presided over the case at the hospital where Joannah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Morova are receiving treatment after they were allegedly beaten, assaulted, and dumped in Marondera three weeks ago.
According to the State, the three are facing charges of staging a demonstration in Warren Park that had a gathering of more than 50 people, an act which was against the government’s lockdown regulations that were put in force to combat coronavirus.
The State alleged that the activists flashed placards written “UNLOCK US BEFORE WE REVOLT”, ” a visible presentation that was threatening, intending to provoke the breach of peace or realising that there was a risk or possibility that a breach of peace may occur.”
The three female activists were represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Roselynn Hanzi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights who labelled bail conditions that include $2 000 and reporting three times a day as “onerous conditions”.
Meanwhile, addressing media practitioners, Zanu-PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa accused the three of refusing to cooperate with the police officers who want to have further investigations into the alleged abduction.
“We are saddened to hear that despite pleas by the law enforcement agents for the ladies in question to co-operate, they are reportedly unco-operative, choosing rather to communicate to NGOs, hostile news media elements and social media,” Chinamasa said.
He also warned his party will not leave the alleged abduction vanishing without bringing out the truth.
“Chinamasa warned his party would not allow the alleged abduction to die a natural death, saying there should be accountability. “We call upon the ladies to understand that this is a serious matter and that the allegations they have made are serious and deserve serious attention by law enforcement agents. Zanu PF will not allow these allegations to die a natural death,” he said.
Chinamasa added that the onus was on the three to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that they were abducted.
“The onus to prove that there was an abduction lies on the ladies who should provide substantive evidence of what transpired rather than being hostile to law enforcement agents.
“We find it abhorrent that to date neither the three lady complainants nor their family members or their friends have made a formal report to the police suggesting that they don’t want the truth to come out,” Chinamasa said.
The MDC-A secretary for foreign affairs Gladys Hlatshwayo said they want an independent investigation into the abduction.
“The three were abducted at a police station by people who purported to be police officers. How can one even be able to talk to the same people who abducted her and put them through such a situation? How can the police investigate themselves?” she said.
She aslo said the police have failed to arrest just one person for the August 1, 2018 shootings were seven people were shot dead by armed soldiers.