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Abduction haunts Mutasa

Human rights activist Jestina Mukoko has dragged former State Security minister Didymus Mutasa to court over her abduction eight years ago.



Mukoko wants the High Court to determine if Mutasa and seven others directly or indirectly participated in her abduction both in their personal and official capacities. The former minister is now a leading member of the Zimbabwe People First party led by ex-vice president Joice Mujuru.

The other defendants include, Minister of State (1st defendant), Home Affairs minister, (2nd defendant), Defence minister, (3rd defendant), Commissioner General of Police (4th defendant), Chief Superintendent Magwenzi (5th defendant), Attorney General (6th defendant) and Mutasa (7th defendant).

In the application, through Beatrice Mtetwa of Mtetwa and Nyambirai, Mukoko wants the court to determine whether she suffered damages under the various heads as claimed and if she did, who was liable.

“If the defendants are liable, quantum therefore,” reads the application.

Mukoko said the Constitutional Court, ruled that the State security agents who abducted her violated her fundamental rights guaranteed by Section 13 (1), 15 (1) and 18 (1) of the old constitution.

“With regards first and seventh defendants, and the seventh defendant, in his capacity as the minister responsible for State Security, deposed to an affidavit in Case No HC 7169/08 in which he admitted that the State security agents were responsible for the plaintiff’s abduction,” reads the application.

“In respect of the fifth defendant, that he received the plaintiff from her captors and facilitated their departure from the handover scene by keeping the plaintiff under blindfold.”

The application further reads: “With regards the sixth defendant, that despite being requested to investigate or cause the fourth defendant to investigate plaintiff’s abduction, torture and unlawful detention, he did nothing.”
In her summary of evidence, Mukoko said she was woken up by her son who told her that there were people at the gate of her Norton residence who wanted to see her.

She proceeded to her kitchen where she met seven men and a woman in plain clothes who identified themselves as police officers, although they did not produce any identification.

Two of them held her by her hands and led her to a Mazda Familia, with one male occupant at the gate without a Zimbabwe Republic Police logo.

When it became apparent she would be taken away, she requested for permission to go back into her bedroom so that she could be properly dressed but was instead shoved into the backseat and ordered to lie down.

The summary says she was not told why she had been abducted by the “police” and was neither told where she was being taken.

Mukoko said she was taken into a secret location where she was severely assaulted with a hose and a piece of iron on the soles of her feet during interrogations.

During the period that she was being held, she thought the torture was a prelude to her murder as she was subjected to serious humiliation.

“Being aware of abductions that had taken place earlier on that year and how such abductees had either never been found and when they were found, they were dead, she was terrified by the abduction, particularly as it was clear that her captors did not want her to see where she was being taken to,” reads part of the summary.

Mukoko said despite many applications that were made at the courts in a bid to find out her whereabouts targeting the police, they denied any involvement.

Police misled the court as she managed to identify some of the people that were part of the interrogation after she was released from solitary confinement.

The case awaits the setting down of dates for the commencement of trial.

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