The American Embassy in Hare has expressed concern over the brutal crackdown on opposition and civic society members on the eve of the much hyped August 16 demonstrations.
In a statement on Wednesday the Embassy said, “The U.S. government is concerned about renewed reports of abductions and assault of civil society members and opposition party members. Harassment and intimidation have no place in a democratic and pluralistic society.”
On Tuesday armed men reportedly have attacked several opposition supporters as Zimbabwe braces for a wave of anti-government demonstrations on Friday.
Some sections of media reported that at least three men with links to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were abducted and badly beaten before being dumped on the streets of Harare on Wednesday.
Tatenda Mombeyarara, a human rights activist, and Blessing Kanotunga, leader of the MDC’s youth wing in a Harare suburb, were both seized after heavily armed men broke into their houses on Wednesday morning. The third victim has not been named.
“Mr Mombeyarara was beaten up and attacked with a metal rod and then dumped at an isolated quarry. He managed to crawl to a nearby house where one of the residents took him to the nearest police station,” said Roselyn Nanzi, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, an NGO assisting the men.
“He has a broken leg and his ribs are very sore. These men had AK47s and one had a pistol. They all had masks on and radio equipment,” she said.
Tensions are rising in Harare ahead of planned demonstrations against president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government on Friday.