ON Wednesday morning, many opposition activists were in panic mode after Zimbabwe’s youngest member of Parliament, Takudzwa Ngadziore (24), recorded a Facebook Live video, showing two armed men just before they kidnapped and tortured him.
Ngadziore’s abduction is the fourth recorded abduction of opposition activists since the August election period.
It has reignited trauma for ward 27 councillor Womberaiishe Nhende, who says such things should not be happening.
Nhende was forced into an unmarked vehicle alongside Sanele Mkhuhlane. He says the news about the Ngadziore abduction, two months after his own, has reinforced his belief that he and fellow activists are not safe. “It makes me feel very unsafe. The issue of safety becomes a fundamental question that cannot be concluded to say we are safe in Zimbabwe,” said Nhende.
“So there is a traumatic experience that comes from those things (abductions). The moment you assume that you are going to be safe, then you get back to Zimbabwe and you hear that Taku has been abducted, seeking the whereabouts replays my abduction.”
He recalls how, despite being visibly unfit to flee as he was walking with the support of crutches, his tormentors somehow saw him as a threat.
On the eve of the abduction, and in the run up to the 23 and 24 August general elections, Nhende was among the casualties in the aftermath of a violent attack of a CCC campaign team in Harare’s Glen View suburb by Zanu PF thugs.
The attack claimed the life of Tinashe Chitsunge and left many injured. Nhende says tjat during his four-hour ordeal he was subjected to interrogation into CCC operations. His tormenters tortured him with tasers to induce answers.
“They would consistently ask what we (CCC youths) were planning with Chamisa in the aftermath of the widely condemned election process. They assumed that maybe we were planning a demonstration and a parallel inauguration process because they would ask me questions like how far have you gone with the process,” recalls Nhende.
For close to 70km, the duo was assaulted and tased with electric shockers, and all this was happening while they were blindfolded.
Nhende was the second recorded case of abduction after the elections. Ahead of the announcement of presidential election results, Nelson Mukwenha, a former councillor in Marondera Rural District Council, was abducted after he shielded party spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi from state security agents who wanted to forcefully take him from the Sapes Trust premises in Harare.
Just like Nhende, Mukwenha was found dumped in Mapinga and he retreated to a safe house for a while. Former Mabvuku legislator James Chidhakwa was abducted from Harare and dumped in Arcturus after being tortured.
He had is dreadlocks cut during a violent ordeal that left him with cuts on his feet. Harare West MP Joana Mamombe had her house visited by armed men in the middle of the night after she put up a fight against the recalls of 15 of her colleagues in Parliament. Ngadziore was abducted as he prepared to go to Parliament.