Alert -Â A Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) observer was allegedly abducted on Tuesday the 13th of May 2008 from Kotwa in Mudzi by known ZANU PF supporters and is being held hostage at Muzezuru Primary School at a ZANU PF base near the dam that is behind the school.Â It has been confirmed that the observer is in a critical condition after being severely tortured by suspected ZANU PF youth militia at the alleged instigation of the MP elect for Mudzi North, Newten Kachepa, a headman in the area Chingwena and Maneto known ZANU PF activists.Â ZESN has also been reliably informed that one police inspector operating from Nyamapanda Police Post is part of the gang fanning politically motivated violence against suspected MDC supporters and ZESN election observers.
ZESN can further confirm that 8 of its observers in the area have had their accreditation cards and ZESN t-shirts confiscated by the same headman Chingwena for allegedly conniving with polling officials to ensure that ZANU PF lost the election on the 29th of March 2008.Â Â
Given the above facts it is disturbing that the law enforcement agents remain inactive and such inaction reinforces the assumption that perpetrators of violence and human rights abuses in Mudzi North are enjoying police support and protection.Â Assertions by Police Internal Security Intelligent (PISI) officers at Nyamapanda that there is nothing they can do because the country is at war is ludicrous and unacceptable because the question that begs for an answer is whose war and against who?
ZESN demands the immediate disbanding of the ZANU PF torture base at Muzezuru Primary School and others around the country.Â ZESN further demands the rescue of all victims held and subsequent conclusive investigation of all leaders implicated in the violation of human rights at the base including the MP elect, Newten Kachepa.Â In the absence of such immediate action, ZESN reiterates that it will hold the Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZANU PF, the MP elect for Mudzi North and all individuals that have been implicated in the abduction responsible for anything that happens to the abducted.
The setting up of military style bases throughout the country is illegal and a contravention of international law especially when such bases are used for human rights abuses. Â
In a related event the ZESN vehicle that had been confiscated by suspected ZANU PF supporters on Monday 11 May was recovered with assistance of ZESN lawyers and the police from Nyamapanda. Â