Jestina Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)

(Johannesburg) - This is a list of human rights activists and Movement for Democratic Change members whom Human Rights Watch believes have been "disappeared" by the authorities in Zimbabwe. In all cases, the authorities have refused to acknowledge their detention. Human Rights Watch is calling on the Zimbabwe authorities to take immediate steps to prevent enforced disappearances, to investigate thoroughly all cases of "disappearance," and to hold the perpetrators to account.

Missing Activists

  1. Jestina Mukoko, a leading human rights activist who is director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) - abducted around 5 a.m. on December 3, 2008, by at least 15 men who identified themselves as working for the law and order section of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Force at her home in Norton in front of her 17-year-old son, Takudzwa. Born in 1957, in Gweru, Mukoko is a journalist by profession. She began her career as a teacher at the Matinunura School in Mkoba before joining Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the state broadcaster. She left ZBC and worked for a private radio station, Voice of the People, then was program manager at the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust before joining ZPP as national director - her current position. She also sits on the Board of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the Zimbabwe Election Support Network. She is a widow.
  2. Pascal Gonzo, ZPP driver - abducted on December 8 by five unidentified men who forcibly entered the group's premises in Mount Pleasant, Harare. The unidentified men, who were in civilian clothes, forced him and another ZPP worker into one of six Mazda Familia sedans that were waiting outside.
  3. Brodrick Takawira, ZPP provincial coordinator - abducted in the episode on December 8 at the group's premises in Mount Pleasant, Harare.
  4. Zachariah Nkomo, the brother of Harrison Nkomo, a leading human rights lawyer who was working for Jestina Mukoko's release, abducted at around midnight on December 5 by four unidentified men in civilian clothes from his home in Rujeko, Masvingo. The men responsible for the abduction were traveling in two green-and-silver Toyota Virgo twin cabs.

Missing MDC Activists 

Human Rights Watch has confirmed that 15 activists for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were abducted from their homes in Banket, Mashonaland West on October 29, in pre-dawn raids by 12 armed men in civilian clothing who claimed that they were policemen from the law and order section of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Force, driving four vehicles. Another MDC activist, Ghandi Mudzingwa was abducted in Harare on December 8. The MDC is the main political party in opposition to the rule of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party. Those listed below, except for Mudzingwa, were all abducted on October 29:

  1. Ghandi Mudzingwa, former personal assistant to the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, abducted December 8, in Msasa, Harare after his car was forced off the road. He was taken into a waiting vehicle (a Mazda 626) by nine armed men who were driving in a convoy of six vehicles.
  2. Concillia Chinanzvavana, the MDC Mashonaland West Provincial chairperson of the Women's Assembly.
  3. Her husband, Emmanuel Chinanzvavana, MDC councilor for Ward 25, Zvimba South, Mashonaland West.
  4. Fidelis Chiramba, MDC Zvimba South District chairperson and unsuccessful candidate for Senate for Zvimba.
  5. Ernest Mudimu, MDC parliamentary candidate for Zvimba North, who lost his seat in the March elections.
  6. Fanwell Tembo, MDC youth organizer in Zvimba South.
  7. Terry Musona, MDC deputy provincial secretary.
  8. Lloyd Tarumbwa, MDC activist.
  9. Collen Mutemagawo, Zvimba South youth chairperson.
  10. Collen Mutemagawo's 2-year-old child.
  11. Violet Mupfuranhehwe, wife of the MDC Zvimba South youth chairperson.
  12. Pieat Kaseke, MDC activist.
  13. Gwenzi Kahiya, MDC activist.
  14. Tawanda Bvumo, MDC activist.
  15. Agrippa Kakonda, MDC activist.
  16. Larry Gaka, MDC activist.