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Zimbabwe Opposition Parliament Member Allegedly Abducted, Tortured

Authorities Should Urgently, Impartially, and Transparently Investigate Attacks

Takudzwa Ngadziore (second from left) and other leaders of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) sing the national anthem during a campaign rally in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, August 20, 2023.  © 2023 KB Mpofu/Reuters

On Wednesday, Takudzwa Ngadziore, an opposition member of parliament in Zimbabwe, alleged he was being abducted and tortured. The 24-year-old member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) recorded himself on Facebook live describing that he was being chased. A man wielding a military assault rifle is seen running towards him. The video, which circulated widely on social media, cuts off after seven seconds.

A recorded statement by a CCC spokesperson said that Ngadziore, Zimbabwe’s youngest parliamentarian, was “on his way to parliament on Wednesday morning [November 1] when he was abducted at gunpoint and tortured. This adds to surging politically motivated violence and targeted abductions.” The spokesperson added that the assailants severely assaulted Ngadziore and injected him with an unknown substance.

The CCC later reported that Ngadziore was “found naked, left for dead, and ultimately dumped in Mazowe,” about 50 kilometers north of the capital, Harare. A video emerged showing Ngadziore narrating his ordeal from what looked like a hospital bed. Media accounts also posted images of his back, which seemed to show signs of severe beatings.

Ngadziore’s alleged abduction raises further concerns regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe following the disputed August 23 elections. His case is not an isolated one. On September 2, Womberaishe Nhende, the elected CCC councilor for Glen Norah Ward 27 in Harare, and activist Sonele Mukhuhlani, were allegedly abducted and tortured before being dumped on the outskirts of the capital. Both described abuses similar to those of Ngadziore.

The CCC has raised alarms over the post-election violence, stating that over 100 of its members have had to flee their homes because of threats and attacks from alleged ruling Zimbabwe African National Unity-Patriotic Front party supporters.

The authorities should urgently take steps to ensure the security and protection of everyone in Zimbabwe. They should also conduct impartial, thorough, and transparent investigations into these alleged abductions and hold those responsible to account. 

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