HARARE – A prominent human rights lawyer has revealed that witnesses are ready to expose people who abducted Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) director Jestina Mukoko eight years ago.
Mukoko, a prominent television presenter-turned-human rights activist, went missing for 21 days after having been abducted by seven alleged State security agents at around 5am from her Norton home in December 2008.
Didymus Mutasa, who was then State Security minister, recently admitted that State security agents were responsible for the abduction.
In her previous testimony, Mukoko said the group of seven, who included a woman, forced her into a Mazda Familia vehicle and took her with them.
“Immediately, a woollen jersey was put across my face, covering my eyes, nose and mouth (and) as a result I had problems breathing and almost suffocated,” Mukoko said.
Speaking at the launch of Mukoko’s autobiographical book, The abduction and trial of Jestina Mukoko: The fight for human rights in Zimbabwe — human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said more details will be revealed in court.
“We have witnesses ready to testify what else this person (who abducted Mukoko) did.
“Furthermore, the alleged revelation by former State Security minister Mutasa that “my boys” had done the act and the affidavit that he reportedly signed could prove more useful to the civil case,” said Mtetwa.
Mukoko’s book was launched during the closing ceremony of the African Democracy Forum (ADF) general assembly that was held in Harare from May 3 to 5.
Delegates from 32 countries attended the book launch.
During the book launch, Mukoko broke down in tears as she relived her ordeal, while thanking the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and all those who assisted her during the three weeks that she was held incommunicado, and her trial.
The event was attended by other victims of torture and also looked into the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara who was also abducted in March 2015.
Deputy director at Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (Osisa), Tiseke Kasambala, said the book “shines light on the history of abductions and torture and the impunity that accompanies this act. The fight to end abductions remains more critical”.
ZLHR programmes manager Dzimbabwe Chibga, narrated the stress and trauma affecting the family of human rights activist, Dzamara, who has been missing for over a year now.
“All the time we interact with the family, we do not know what to tell them. They have lost a breadwinner who was there for the family, a father and a husband. And to see the trauma and the anguish on their faces, and we can only say since we have not found him and because we have not found him, we will keep trying.”
Speaking at the same event, African Democracy Forum (ADF) chairperson, Joseph Nkurunziza, called upon the government of Zimbabwe to assist in uncovering Dzamara’s whereabouts and end abductions.