The formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai said on Thursday that six party members were abducted early Wednesday by suspected militia of the ruling ZANU-PF party in Manicaland province, on the border with Mozambique.
They said the abductions in the Headlands constituency were carried out by eight suspected militia members circulating in a truck recognized as one used by ZANU-PF militia and state security agents in the post-election period when political violence was rampant.
The fear among many opposition members, civil society activists and other observers is that with the power-sharing process seen by many to have dead-ended, ZANU-PF hardliners are again resorting to political violence to reinforce the party's grip on power.
The abductions of the MDC activists brought to nearly a score the number of party members and human rights activists kidnapped since late October.
Zimbabwe Peace Project Director Jestina Mukoko was abducted Dec. 3 and her whereabouts remain unknown. Mukoko, who documented political violence and human rights violations, is believed to have been seized from her Norton home by state security agents
Makoni South Member of Parliament Pishai Muchauraya told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that local police had not been cooperative in the search for the missing MDC activists, saying that that matter was political.
For perspective on the resurgence of abductions, all too common in the post-election period in April-June of this year, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Director Abel Chikomo and Legal and Advocacy Officer Anna Moyo of the Southern African Center for Survivors of Torture.
Chikomo said the abductions have triggered fear among human rights activists.
Studio 7 listener Paradzayi Nyamunda of Bulawayo blamed the government for the wave of abductions. Themba Mazhuwa of Marondera said the MDC must do more to confront the government over the resurgence of politically motivated abductions.