The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has ordered the police and the army to investigate their top officers implicated in the alleged abduction and torture of a Chiredzi-based Zanu PF activist over accusations that he was involved in former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s alleged plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.
In a 20-page damning report (File Ref: ZHRC/CI/0041/15), the ZHRC claimed that the victim, Kariborn Nyemba, was abducted from his home in May last year and placed in an undesignated solitary confinement by army Captain Edmore Gono and police Inspector Henry Dhowa.
The complaint was filed in July 2015 by Chiredzi West legislator, Darlington Chiwa on the request of the victim’s relatives after police in Chiredzi were non-committal in investigating the case.
ZHRC opened investigations into the case in August 2015 and questioned the complainants and the respondents.
Nyemba’s brother, Simbarashe, the former president of the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union (ZISMIWU), is the first complainant, while the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe National Army are the first and second respondents, respectively.
Dhowa, Gono and Superintendent Emanuel Chazireni were cited as respondents.
Gono also faces charges of assault, usurping the work of the police and illegally detaining the victim in his private residence, which is not designated for detention.
In the report, which implicates the director of State residences, Innocent Tizora, Nyemba claims that in April last year, his mobile phone went missing, while he was watching a football match at a local bar in Chiredzi.
The following day, he was summoned to Chiredzi Police Station as a suspect, as his phone had allegedly been recovered at the torched ZISMIWU offices the previous night.
Nyemba says he presented himself to the police, who assured him that he will be called when needed. Up to now, the arson case has not been finalised.
After that, Nyemba says unidentified people came to his house at night and threatened to set his house on fire and threw stones on his roof. The threats and the police reluctance to investigate the arson case allegedly forced him to go into hiding.
Nyemba then went to South Africa to look for employment and returned to Zimbabwe for his wife. On his way to Chiredzi, he says he was intercepted by Dhowa and Gono at Renco turnoff, who produced pistols and allegedly bundled him into the latter’s car.
His abductors allegedly ordered him to confess that he had connived with his brother Simbarashe and former ZISIMIWU secretary-general, Admore Hwarare to burn the union’s offices and that they had meetings with Mujuru plotting to kill Mugabe.
Nyemba says he was taken to State House, where they met Tizora, who advised his abductors to release him and make necessary investigations into the matter. Tizora gave the victim some groceries for his family.
Instead of releasing him, Dhowa and Gono allegedly took Nyemba and detained him at the latter’s house in a small guard room in Chiredzi, giving him sedatives and assaulting him.
Gono is also alleged to have forced a piece of wood through Nyemba’s backside. Nyemba managed to text his brother, Simba informing him of his whereabouts and later bolted out of “captivity” and narrated his ordeal to the ZHRC.