ZANU PF activists reportedly “arrested”, tortured and detained at the ruling party’s headquarters peaceful marchers protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s rule, before handing them over to the police, it has been learnt. BY OBEY MANAYITI
Source: Zanu PF torture victims recount harrowing tales – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 27, 2016
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The victims of the brutality yesterday recounted harrowing tales of their “arrest” by alleged Zanu PF activists and illegal detention at the ruling party’s headquarters in central Harare, before being handed over to the police.
These included MDC-T legislators, Fani Munengami and Ronia Bunjira, who recounted their chilling testimonies at their party’s Press conference attended by party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputies Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri, as well as party spokesperson Obert Gutu and several diplomats.
The torture victims also claimed police details openly indulged in alcohol and drug binges before they turned to savagely assault them.
Munengami chronicled how they were abused and assaulted as they moved from one police station to another and watched in horror as police officers reportedly took drugs.
“Not only were they given free food, they were also on drugs. They were also drinking beer when they were beating us up,” he narrated.
“I think this is actually something that made them act that way. I was also surprised to see police officers being allowed to drink on duty and the reason might be for them to gather courage to beat up people.”
Munengami said he was terrified after his arrest.
“I was arrested just before 10 and bundled into a police lorry. What I know is when you are arrested, in terms of your security and safety, you must feel safe being in their custody, but in my case, it was different,” the lawmaker said, adding he was assaulted “non-stop” for hours on end.
Bunjira said she was shocked to see many people being subjected to several forms of torture, some of it dehumanising, by the roadside on September 17, as she was passing by in Waterfalls.
Pictures of police torture victims have gone viral on social media, with public anger mounting against the police in the aftermath of the clashes that followed a stillborn bid to demonstrate against Mugabe by opposition political parties under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) last week.
Former student leader, Ostallos Siziba, who was also tortured, said: “I was taken to the Zanu PF headquarters by about four men and taken to a room where I was severely beaten. After that, I was taken to another room, where I was further interrogated, with more than 20 men trying to force me to have sexual intercourse with an elderly woman, but I refused. That worsened my torture.”
Others, who said they were also taken to the Zanu PF headquarters, claimed they were held in blood-stained rooms and assaulted by different people, who accused them of pushing an anti-Zanu PF campaign.
Tsvangirai expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the country.
“This is the nature of the beast. That is what dictatorship is all about. At this stage of our struggle, the testimonies merely illustrate the endurance that the people of Zimbabwe have had to confront. I think there are a lot of testimonies in the past 17 years,” he said.
“The struggle for change in this country is coming to an end. There is no way this regime will continue to brutalise and suppress people with impunity.”