MDC Alliance has claimed that 30 of its members have fled from their homes in fear of falling victim to the alleged on-going crackdown of opposition activists in the city.
In recent weeks several politicians, activists and citizens have been arrested, with others beingsubjected to alleged torture by suspected State security agents on charges of orchestrating the 31 July protest.
MDC Alliance provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that they feared for their members’ safety.
“We have so far drawn a list of about 30 cadres who are no longer living at their homes for fear of being abducted, tortured or detained. Some are contemplating moving their children to safer places, while others are bogged down with repairs to damaged premises,” he said.
Chirowodza, whose home was also recently raided, said the party was now planning on the way forward.
“As such the provincial administration committee will meet soon to set the agenda of the next Bulawayo provincial executive meeting. This is going to be one item on the agenda meeting so I cannot disclose or pre-empt anything.”
He said for those who had fled since the crackdown begun, no one had returned home yet.
Takunda Madzana, one of the activists who was allegedly abducted, tortured and dumped in a bush, said he no longer felt safe.
“For as long as we are still under the same government where the abductors are not arrested, I will not feel safe and chances are high these people will come back. I am not safe at all, which is why I had to seek a safe place away from my house,” Madzana said.
This comes at a time Matabeleland Forum, a grouping of civic society here, on Wednesday issued a statement indicating its concern “on the harassment of human rights defenders and journalists….”
The Forum further implored President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to immediately release all citizens arrested for exercising their right to demonstrate.
The Forum also appealed to the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations to put in place urgent diplomatic interventions to avert the current alleged human rights abuses in the country.