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Dirty Politics Rears its Ugly Head in Harare

Zimbabwean opposition activists and a member of parliament have described torture, humiliation and repeated sexual assaults after being abducted by suspected state security services. The three women, all leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change’s youth movement, were arrested at a roadblock guarded by police and soldiers on Wednesday at a protest in Harare against the state’s failure to provide for the poor during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown. They then disappeared until they were found on a roadside on Friday morning 60 miles away from the capital by a local man, badly injured and traumatised. Witnesses said masked assailants bundled the three women into an unmarked Toyota minivan and drove them away. Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the MDC, called for international intervention. The European Union on Friday said it was “deeply concerned” about the “torture and humiliation” reported by the MDC members and urged authorities to investigate their “enforced disappearance”.