BY MOSES MATENGA
GOVERNMENT and the MDC Alliance are embroiled in a fresh abduction war as Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe yesterday accused the opposition of making fake claims that its party vice-president Tendai Biti had been abducted.
Kazembe warned there would be consequences for faking abductions.
There were reports that Biti had been abducted by five unknown persons from his Harare home, but the MDC Alliance rubbished the claims, however, confirming that the former Finance minister was being trailed by unidentified persons.
Biti, according to the MDC Alliance, was set to make a police report, but the police yesterday disclosed that no report had been made.
Kazembe accused the opposition of stage-managing abductions ahead of key international events and at a time when the West was set to review its sanctions on the country.
“The government notes with concern the growing tendency to peddle false allegations of human rights abuses designed to soil the image of the country and to solicit undeserved international sympathy,” he said.
Kazembe said the “falsehoods” went viral, with government being falsely accused of orchestrating forced disappearances and abduction of political opponents to silence the opposition.
He claimed MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere issued a statement dismissing the fake news a little bit too late.
“The abduction narrative follows the same template used before in the staged disappearances of activist and medical doctor Peter Magombeyi and that of MDC Alliance youths, Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova. These reports always surface on the eve of global summits or the periodic reviews of Western-imposed sanctions.
“This latest story coincides with growing calls for the unconditional removal of sanctions against the country following United Nations special rapporteur, Professor Alena Douhan’s report, whose findings the MDC Alliance, particularly Biti, disputed.”
Douhan was in the country last month to assess the impact of sanctions.
But Mahere said Kazembe’s statement was regrettable and meant to downplay cases of abduction that ought to be investigated.
She said it was, instead, government that created and circulated the fake news on Biti’s alleged abduction.
“This is a regrettable attempt by the regime to use fake news to downplay past abduction and torture incidents that to date have not been investigated,” Mahere.
“We won’t stop demanding accountability for the MDC Alliance trio and other victims of State-sponsored torture.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the MDC Alliance claimed Biti was being tracked by a vehicle driven by a known Zanu PF activist, who has been pursuing him for some time, including protesting at the former Harare East Member of Parliament’s offices.