Lawyer names kidnappers, torturers

HARARE - A team of government spies, police and military intelligence officers was behind the kidnapping and torturing of civic and opposition activists in Zimbabwe over the past two months, a top lawyer disclosed last week.

Alec Muchadehama – who is representing seven opposition MDC activists accused of plotting to overthrow the government – disclosed in court the names of some of the state agents which he said he had "established through recollections of (his) clients". The activists were kidnapped from their homes, work or other places several weeks ago and their lawyers say they were severely tortured by state agents in a bid to force them to admit to plotting or carrying out bombings as part of a military campaign to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government.

The seven MDC activists are part of more than 30 civic and opposition activists, including leading human rights defender Jestina Mukoko, accused of plotting to overthrow Mugabe. They deny the charge and have been remanded in custody.

Muchadehama said those who victimised his clients included operatives of the much-despised Central Intelligence Organisation, identified as Maganga, Marasike Chitate alias Chigure, Mhlanga, and Ndambakuwa. Other state agents named were a police superintendent Tendere, Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge, detective Muuya, detective inspector Elliot Muchada, Chief Superintendent Magwenzi, detective assistant inspector Namupachira, detective inspector Mpofu and another police officer identified only as Chitambo.

An officer from the military intelligence directorate identified as Matambanadzo, alias Aunty Daisy, was also among state agents named in court. They either did the actual kidnappings or were accomplices or accessories after the fact," said Muchadehama, who promised to reveal more names as the case progresses. Muchadehama said the kidnappers stole foreign currency, mobile phones, fuel coupons and many other expensive gadgets from their victims.

"The abductors also stole the accuseds' money comprising of USA dollars, South African rands, fuel coupons and cellphones. To date these have not been recovered," he said. The civic and opposition activists were detained in filthy and smelly cells at various police stations, being given little or no food at all in addition to being tortured,  according to Muchadehama. – ZimOnline

Post published in: Politics

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