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‘Come clean on human rights abuses’

BY PRECIOUS CHIDA HUMAN rights lobby group Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has challenged government to come out clean on its sincerity to investigate and end human rights abuses, mostly perpetrated by State security agents. The grouping said government should conduct itself in a transparent manner when investigating cases of torture and abduction, citing the recent abduction, alleged sexual and physical abuse of three MDC youth leaders, Joanah Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri. “On the abduction of the three MDC youth leaders and other related cases, as it stands, the only narrative of what transpired is coming from the government, and the victims have not been able to tell their side of the story. Unless the government is complicit, it should just be transparent,” a statement from ZPP read. Mamombe, Marova and Chimbiri were accused of faking their own abduction. Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said the trio, working with diplomats, civic organisations and doctors, lied about their abduction in order to destabilise the country. “The three spent 10 days in detention after being initially denied bail. They have not been given a chance to tell their side of the story as the government suspiciously keeps a lid on the case,” ZPP said. It said government must show political will in dealing with such cases as not doing so resulted in people losing confidence in government institutions. “Those that break the law, whether as the police, army or government officials, should be arraigned and go through the due criminal procedure. Only by doing so can the government restore confidence and get the needed foreign investment,” they said. The human rights organisation said Zimbabwe was in a crisis that had seen people who exercise their constitutional rights landing in trouble with the police, or abductors.

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