CALLS for the prosecution of those who abducted and tortured three opposition officials Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova in 2020 have grown louder in light of the acquittal of the first two.
The three were abducted at a roadblock as they were coming from a demonstration in Warren Park in Harare after being accused of violating Covid-19 travel restrictions.
They were tortured for more than 24 hours before being discovered in Bindura, Mashonaland Central, dumped in a deep hole.
After the ordeal, no investigations were carried out into their abduction case.
Instead, they were charged with publishing falsehoods, but after three years they were acquitted. It is against this background that many have called for the arrest of the people behind the three’s ordeal.
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere tweeted that the acquittal confirms that the duo was never guilty, but their perpetrators walk free.
“Let it be known that those who abducted and tortured our sisters have never been brought to book. Why were they never arrested? Why was that gruesome act never investigated?” queried Mahere.
She further tweeted that those behind the arrest and three years of persecution should also face the long arm of the law.
“The High Court confirmed what we already knew. My sisters Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri have always been innocent. They must sue all those responsible for their malicious arrest and persecution. What happened was not right. This entire episode was an abuse of state institutions,” added Mahere.
The trio alleges that they were arrested and taken to Harare Central before being ferried out in a commuter omnibus to Mashonaland Central.
On the day of the demonstration, state-owned Star FM and other news outlets reported that police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest of the three.
Their lawyer, Obey Shava, wrote that he walked around Harare prisons looking for the three and could not find them, before they were discovered in Bindura.
ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu also added his voice to the issue, calling on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to book.
“Now arrest the abductors! Such a horrible case of miscarriage of justice and abuse of power,” tweeted Mathuthu.
Mamombe heaved a sigh of relief after the aquittal, saying the three years of persecution were tough.
“For three years, we failed to get justice; instead of being torture survivors, we were turned into criminals on the defence dock. Our fundamental rights have been severely curtailed as the courts unjustly treated us. Spent unrecoverable hours in the courts,” she wrote.
“Yesterday’s ruling by Justice Munangati is a stinging indictment on the Magistrate Courts for being accomplices to a crime committed against us in 2020. After suffering torture and sexual violation, the Zimbabwean government turned on us and branded us criminals. Now, when will the Zimbabwean government and police bring the vile men who tortured us to justice?
“When will we face them and ask them, why? Who sent them and why? We demand justice NOW!!We were bent but survived, we were humiliated, but we germinated like seeds on hard ground,” tweeted Mamombe.
Her co-accused, Chimbiri, only tweeted a verse which reflected her relief.
“John 16:33, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” she tweeted.
Although there is a sense of relief, their victory may be shortlived as the National Prosecuting Authority released a statement, saying it will appeal the High Court decision.
Meanwhile, their lawyer Shava was attacked on his way home this week and suffered injuries. He is currently admitted in a private hospital in Harare.