Government has not received any letters from a British-based organisation, International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), over alleged failure to investigate recent claims of abductions, Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said yesterday.
This follows media reports that ICTUR director Mr Daniel Blackburn recently wrote to President Mnangagwa, Labour Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, and United Nations Special Rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, alleging there was need for the adoption of measures that ensure Zimbabwe complied with obligations under international law.
Reports claimed that Government had failed to investigate and bring to account, people linked to the abductions of two unionists, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) leader Dr Peter Magombeyi and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader Mr Obert Masaraure.
There are plans now to take the alleged issues to the next meeting of the International Union Rights Journal and cast Zimbabwe in bad light.
In an interview on Monday, Mr Mangwana said; “Government is not in receipt of any letters from the NGO in question. When any suspected criminal acts are reported to the police, they are fully investigated. What has been happening is that the alleged victims have not been cooperating with the authorities and in most cases, give very inconsistent and contradictory accounts of incidents, complicating the investigation efforts.
“We need to point out that the figures being floated around as the number of reported cases of abductions in Zimbabwe is a gross exaggeration of the actual cases reported to the police. We have had a few high profile clearly fake abductions which are being used for propaganda purposes.
“These appear to coincide with world events. We believe these are calculated to undermine the re-engagement effort by bringing negative spotlight on the country.”
Mr Mangwana added that the false abductions allegations were “contrived to ensure that Zimbabwe is viewed negatively by the world during major international events”.
He said during the January 2019 protests, there were claims that Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Mr Peter Mutasa had been abducted by security agents, yet he was in hiding.
Numerous other incidents of alleged abductions, which have turned out to be fabrications, have been made and these involved a number of civil society and MDC-Alliance linked individuals.