Minister condemns doc’s ‘abduction’

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Mashudu Netsianda/Fungai Lupande, Senior Reporters

THE Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo, has condemned the alleged abduction of Harare Central Hospital medical practitioner, Dr Peter Magombeyi, saying he has since engaged State security agencies to intensify efforts to find him.

Dr Obadiah Moyo

Dr Magombeyi, who is the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), was allegedly abducted from his house in Harare’s Budiriro suburb on Saturday night by three unidentified armed men.

In a statement yesterday, Dr Moyo said they were alarmed by the disappearance of the doctor.

“We have been made aware of the reported disappearance of Dr Peter Magombeyi, the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA and our employee at Harare Central Hospital in a case of reported kidnapping. As the Ministry responsible, my Ministry is concerned about the welfare, safety and well-being of all its cadres. We are taking this matter very seriously and we condemn any illegal acts by whosoever with the revulsion it deserves,” he said.

Dr Moyo said no stone would be left unturned as police intensify the hunt for the suspects.

“As the Ministry of Health and Child Care, we are alarmed by this. I have personally engaged the State security agencies who have undertaken to deploy resources to look for Dr Magombeyi and they are seized with this matter with no stone left unturned,” he said.

The Minister urged Dr Magombeyi’s family and his colleagues to remain calm and direct their efforts towards assisting police with relevant information that could lead to his return. 

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they since have launched investigations into Dr Magombeyi’s alleged abduction. 

He said while they were seized with the matter, they have, however, noted that there was a possibility that the alleged abductions could be for political expedience. He said they could not rule out the possibility of a third force behind the alleged abductions aimed at tarnishing the image of the country.

Asst Comm Nyathi urged members of the public with relevant information to contact any nearest Police Station or the National Complaints Desk in Harare on (0242) 703 631 or on their WhatsApp platform number 0712 800 197 or alternatively the Harare Operations telephone number (0242) 748 836. 

The Government is concerned about reports of alleged abductions and torture of citizens by unknown assailants and is looking into the cases to ensure all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.

In a statement last month, the Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, said since the advent of the Second Republic, there has been a force comprising discharged and disgruntled former members of the old establishment who have shown determination to impair President Mnangagwa’s image and attract international outrage. 

He said there were some traits that indicated that there could be a third force in the abductions of citizens that was keen to tarnish the image of the President and Government.

On Sunday, a group of disgruntled doctors staged a solidarity march at the United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) carrying placards denouncing the alleged abduction of their colleague.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) yesterday told the High Court in Harare that there is no connection between the two security institutions and the abduction of acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), Dr  Magombeyi.

The ZRP and CIO said they are “exhaustively” investigating the matter.

Dr Magombeyi’s sister, Elizabeth, through her lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, filed an urgent chamber application for an order of “habeas corpus ad subjuciendum”.

Habeas corpus is a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the State to bring the prisoner to court.

The respondents in the application are Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema, Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office, Owen Ncube, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and CIO Director-General ,Isaac Moyo.

Their lawyers, Messrs Gift Chihuta and Takudzwa Mutomba, told the court the application pointed fingers at the law enforcement agents as primary suspects in the matter while the concession was that Dr Magombeyi was abducted by unknown assailants. — @mashnets

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