“Joana Mamombe Cannot Speak, Recognise Familiar Faces”: Mfundo Mlilo
18 May 2020
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MDC Alliance legislator Joana Mamombe’s husband, Mfundo Mlilo, says the 27-year-old Harare West MP is unable to speak or recognize familiar faces following her reported abduction and torture by as yet unidentified assailants following a protest she and other party youths held last Wednesday.

Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, all from the Nelson Chamisa-led Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-A), claim they were dumped from a moving car at dawn on Friday outside a general dealer’s shop in Bindura South, about 80km from Harare.

“She sometimes just stares into the distance, at other times she cries hysterically,” he said.

“They started screaming when police officers came into the room. It is the uniform they associate with being terrorised and tortured,” said Mlilo, who is also an MDC Alliance official.

The women said that they were initially taken to Harare central police station from where they were driven for an hour, while their faces were covered, to a forest where they were thrown into a pit.

Mlilo told a UK publication that between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, four or five men in plain clothes beat and sexually brutalised the MDC Alliance activists and forced them to consume each other’s excrement.

They were ordered to watch and sing MDC songs as their friends were terrorised one by one, he adds.

“Joana is very brave and knows the risks she is taking in trying to liberate herself and all Zimbabweans from the ordeal of this regime.

“The regime thinks that the women are soft targets and it is the easiest way to terrorise a whole society,” says Mfundo, who campaigned to get his wife elected into Parliament in July 2018.

Meanwhile, The Times also reports that Henry Chimbiri, the 56-year-old father to Cecilia, has slept in his car outside the hospital since his daughter was brought in.

A former MDC elections director during the days of founding party president Morgan Tsvangirai, Chimbiri says bravery is in the family as he himself was arrested and tortured many times in the Robert Mugabe era.

“Things are now far more dangerous,” he saidadding: “Mugabe was a front for the devilish underground movement of his party, led by Mnangagwa, that was responsible for its worst excesses. Now it is those very people who are in power.”

Meanwhile, Government says it will investigate the matter and get to the bottom of what transpired between the protests and Friday morning when the three youth leaders re-emerged from their ordeal.

ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said that senior officers in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) were already split into teams and the nation will soon be updated on what transpired.

This also comes as Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, during a press briefing yesterday, also reiterated that some real deep investigations are ongoing. 

-The Times