Chinhoyi University Student Abducted And Tortured – Mahere

Valentine Ziko, a student at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), was reportedly kidnapped on Monday during a violent police raid. Fadzayi Mahere, a Member of Parliament, stated that Ziko was taken by a group of unknown men who attacked, covered his eyes and shoved him into a car.

In a statement seen by Pindula News, Mahere, a senior official in the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), mentioned that Ziko was questioned about his association with the party. She said:

ALERT: We’ve received a report that Valentine Ziko, a student, was abducted from Chinhoyi University of Technology yesterday. During a violent police raid, a group of unknown men attacked and blindfolded him. They bundled him into a car where they started assaulting him. They took him to an unknown location, tortured and sprayed cold water on him while demanding the whereabouts of other named students. They kept beating him up and forced him to unlock his phone. They interrogated him about @Zinasuzim and @CCCZimbabwe.

They interrogated him about the CCC plan following the forced removal of CCC MP, Hon Kufahakutizwe, from Mabvuku Tafara constituency. He told them he wasn’t aware of CCC plans whereupon they bundled him back into a vehicle and dropped him off close to a local bridge where he eventually received assistance. The hounding and torture of members of the Student Movement must be condemned by all progressive citizens. It’s not a crime to push for improved student welfare, better learning conditions and education delivery that works for everyone.

There have been an increasing number of reports about the abduction and torture of government critics, including activists from the CCC party, human rights defenders, and journalists. Some of them have been seriously injured, while others have been found dead, like Pastor Masaya, or have disappeared without a trace, as in the case of Itai Dzamara. It is suspected that state security agents are responsible for these abductions.

The government has previously denied these allegations, claiming that the abductions are staged to tarnish its reputation. They have also suggested that a “third party” might be responsible for the abductions to damage the government’s image internationally. Government authorities argue that Zimbabwe is working towards improving its relationships with other countries and cannot risk damaging these relationships by openly violating human rights.

However, some analysts believe that the ruling party, ZANU PF, has little regard for human rights and is capable of torture and killing. This belief stems from the deployment of soldiers who used live ammunition against civilians in 2018. Several other incidents are being used as evidence of ZANU PF’s capacity to abduct, torture and or kill people.

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