The government says a third force is behind the abduction of Dr. Peter Magombeyi, president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said the abduction was designed to coincide with a visit of a special rapporteur from the United Nations, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, and while some African leaders are in Harare mourning the late former president Robert Mugabe.
The government also says the abduction happened at a time world leaders are preparing to attend the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which started Tuesday.
“The government of the Republic of Zimbabwe has noted with concern the abduction of Dr. Peter Magombeyi from his house in Budiriro over the weekend. Following this barbaric act, the government immediately activated the security agencies to make sure that Dr. Magombeyi is found and safely returned to his family.
“The government under the new dispensation is totally averred to practices that put the lives of any citizen in danger. We therefore find it very curious that whenever there is an impending international gathering or a high profile visit to Zimbabwe, these criminal acts are always perpetrated on our innocent citizens.”
He said it is still fresh “in our minds that towards the SADC Summit in Tanzania last month, the country was gripped with numerous abductions of our citizens by people whose aim we can only believe was to tarnish the image of the country regionally, continentally and internationally. We have no doubt that the latest abduction of Dr. Peter Magombeyi was meant to coincide with the visit to Zimbabwe by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association.”
Moyo said it’s impossible that the country’s security forces would abduct a doctor while trying to attract the much-needed foreign direct investment.
“As the government continues to spruce-up the country’s image, it is unthinkable that any of its security agents would be involved in such blatant criminal acts. The visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur was at the invitation of the government way back in November 2018 as we fell we have nothing to hide. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has already assured members of the public that a team is investigating the abduction of Dr. Magombeyi.”
At least 50 people have been abducted in Zimbabwe this year alone. Hundreds were abducted at the height of the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s and in the 2008 presidential election re-run.