By Peter Bolder|
Abduction, torture, disappearances and displacement are widespread in acting Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Dambudzo home village near Zvishavane, Now Dail can exclusively reveal.
This is after security forces descended on the area in large numbers ostensibly to provide protection to Mnangagwa, who is acting while president Robert Mugabe and his family are away on holiday.
Amid assassination claims by Mnangagwa, which have, however, been discredited, security has been beefed up at his Chinese-built village mansion.
“The soldiers can be seen loitering at shopping centres and harassing civilians,” said an MDC official from the area. “They have imposed a curfew in Chief Mapanzure’s area. They also punish people who speak ill of Mnangagwa or are from the opposition parties.”
The MDC official was sheltering in Zvishavane with his family. He said many others had fled.
“Mnangagwa himself assured us that we would not be harmed, but these army and intelligence people, helped by the local drunken militias, are terrorising us,” said a bottle store owner and member of the MDC. “They spend the whole day drinking and smoking marijuana. If they see you after eight pm they just beat you up. Customers no longer come to the bars even during the day because of their menacing presence.”
Army and CIO intelligence officers committed the atrocities with impunity, witnesses told us. Human rights groups said some of them, such as the reported rape of women branded as ‘prostitutes’ by the militias led by John Holder, amounted to war crimes. Activists said the perpetrators should be criminally liable.
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