WASHINGTON DC —
President Robert Mugabe is expected to attend Botswana's 50th independence celebrations, just days after Botswana President Ian Khama urged him to step down.
Mr. Mugabe's government has reacted angrily to President Khama's calls claiming that he violated diplomatic processes by urging a sitting African head of state to step down. Khama says at 92, the Zimbabwean leader is incapable of running the country.
At the same time, the abduction of opposition party members and citizens staging protests against Mr. Mugabe's iron-fist rule continue in the southern African nation gripped by poverty.
According to an unidentified group of people suspected to be state security agents, who target political and human rights activists for abduction and severely assault them before injecting them with a mysterious substance, are on the prowl.
On Tuesday night, the group targeted another victim, Kudakwashe Kambanje, who is the chairperson of Harare central business district of the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) and left him for dead.
Kambanje was reportedly abducted at the corner Nkwame Nkrumah Avenue and Chinhoyi Street in central Harare after the abductors allegedly fired shots at about 10.30 pm.
Kambanje was only found on Wednesday morning at a farm along old Mazowe Road, about 22 kilometers from Harare where he was abducted.
The abductors reportedly injected Kambanje with an unknown substance on the leg after assaulting him. His legs, thighs and hands were left with lacerations from being tortured.
NAVUZ suspects that its members are being targeted after unknown people threw stones into the offices of the organisation smashing window panes and putting its staff under siege on Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday night, the vendors had their wares burnt to ashes by unknown assailants.
Earlier in September 2016, prominent actor and human rights defender, Silvanos Mudzvova, was abducted and dumped at a farm near Nharira Hills on the outskirts of Harare.
Mudzvova is a member of the #Tajamuka/Sesijikile pressure group.
The abductors also injected Mudzvova with an unknown substance twice.
Like Mudzvova, Kambanje was discovered by well-wishers at the farm.
“ZimRights is worried by the continued trend of abductions targeted at human rights activists by men who are armed and who torture and inject their victims with mysterious substances. We call upon the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to investigate the latest trend of abductions in the country.
“The resurgence of abductions is unfortunate at a time when the authorities have not accounted for Itai Dzamara’s whereabouts since March 2015…”