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Zimbabwe Police Say 'Abducted' Dr. Magombeyi Safe in Hospital, Not Arrested

Dr. Peter Magombeyi resurfaced in Nyabira near Harare on Thursday.

Police in Zimbabwe say Dr. Peter Magombeyi, who was allegedly abducted by unknown assailants last Saturday, is safe and currently under doctors’ care at a local hospital.

In an interview with VOA Zimbabwe Service, police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the doctor is not under arrest or investigation.

“Zimbabwe police advises members of the public that investigations in Dr. Peter Gabriel Magombeyi case are in full swing. He is currently admitted at a local hospital for observation by a medical team. He has been examined by his own medical team and government team. He is safe and has not been arrested at all as claimed in some sections of the media.”

Nyathi said Dr. Magombeyi has accessed his lawyers who are interacting with the police.

“He has accessed his family and they are also interacting with the police. There is no misunderstanding at all and he’ll be interviewed by the police, once he is cleared by the medical team.

“So I want to dispel some of the information that has been circulating in the social media platform and some of the information that is being posted on the social media platform.”

He appealed to Zimbabweans to stop circulating fake news about Dr. Magombeyi.

“I also want to caution the public against, against trying to defeat or obstruct the course of justice that is not factual, that is misleading.”

The doctor was allegedly abducted by suspected state security agents last week Saturday amid a crippling strike by doctors demanding salary increases.

The government says indications are that there is a “third force” behind the abduction of citizens.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said the government is pleased about the reappearance of the doctor.

"Dr. Magombeyi has in recent weeks been exercising his rights as a Zimbabwean to oppose government policies through peaceful protest. Whilst the Government may disagree with his opinions, he and all his colleagues in ZHDA have every right to hold these views and express them publicly. The Government calls for all parties to come to the table and discuss this dispute in the spirit of openness and mutual respect.”

He noted that police are looking into Dr. Magombeyi’s disappearance and resurfacing in Nyadira, about 35 kilometers away from Harare on Thursday.

"The police services are now working with Peter to fully investigate what did happen - despite the challenges of doing so - given he has asserted he does not recall precisely what occurred nor where he has been for the last six days.”

Moyo also said the government is concerned about such disappearances.

"The government is concerned that the timings of a spate of disappearances – followed by reappearances - of civil society and labour activists on the eve of major international meetings of crucial importance to the whole country are forming a pattern. "These incidents do nothing to assist, and only seek to obstruct, the government’s genuine and open-minded efforts to engage with the international community on behalf of the Zimbabwean people.

"Given this fact, the government expresses its frustration at the ongoing, instant reaction by those in the international media alluding to government involvement in these disappearances. We ask the media to spend less time insinuating and more time investigating how and who may benefit and be behind them.”

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