Government will be guided by the outcome of investigations into alleged abductions of three MDC-Alliance officials and warned against jumping into conclusions and apportioning blame.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo assured the public that the Government was taking the allegations by the MDC-Alliance officials, Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova and legislator Joana Mamombe seriously.
“These allegations are particularly grave in that they involve alleged abuse of the rights of the girl child, a vulnerable group of our society which this Government is on record as resolutely promoting and protecting.
“While the relevant agencies of the State are fully seized with the matter and are already investigating all aspects of the allegations made by the three ladies in question — including the circumstances surrounding the unauthorised staging of a demonstration during the national lockdown, in deliberate violation of the SI 77 of 2020 it is most disconcerting to note some sections of the media and some within the diplomatic community appear to have already concluded that the Zimbabwean Government was responsible for the alleged abuse,” said Minister Moyo.
“Surely they would better serve the cause of justice by allowing the law to take its course and to await the outcome of the investigation rather than jump to conclusions or wantonly ascribe culpability.”
Minister Moyo said while it would refrain from making conclusions, the allegations made by the women had some indications of an involvement of a possible third force.
He said the coincidence of staging the demonstration with regional and international events such as Sadc Troika summit held last week in Harare and impending Sadc Council of Ministers virtual meeting also raised eyebrows.
“Although Government has refrained from drawing its own hasty conclusions, it is difficult to ignore the glaring similarities which exist between this recent alleged incident and several such allegations in the past, which have all borne similar hallmarks of stage-managed theatre designed to soil the image of the Government and indeed the nation and to divert attention from the ongoing implosion and ever-shifting allegiances within some political formations in the opposition,” said Minister Moyo.
“As has been the case with past alleged abductions, the current dramatic episode just happened to coincide with major international and regional events — the convening of the Sadc Troika summit and the presence in Harare of several regional Heads of State and the impending Sadc Council Ministers virtual meeting.
“Government will, however, await the outcome of the investigation before drawing any conclusions. Investigations will be conducted with the prime objective of exposing the involvement of a possible third force.”
Minister Moyo said Government was fully committed to its obligation to protect the human rights and dignity of all its citizens, irrespective of gender, race or political affiliation.
He gave example of six police officers who had already been arrested in Bulawayo in connection with the alleged assault of Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu and have already appeared in court.
Minister Moyo said Government was commitment to Article 10 of the Protocol of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and to the peaceful settlement of all forms of disputes, political or economic and to international engagement and re-engagement based on the sovereignty equality of all nations.