Court orders Cops to search for Jestina Mukoko

Harare – A Zimbabwean court has ordered police to search for human rights activist Jestina Mukoko, who was allegedly abducted from her home one week ago, her lawyers said on Wednesday.

Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), was taken by 15 armed men from her home outside Harare at dawn on December 3, the lawyers said in a statement.

Two days later, Zacharia Nkomo – the brother of a lawyer working on Mukoko’s case – was taken from his home in southern Zimbabwe, while two of her ZPP colleagues were abducted on Monday at their workplace, they said.

High Court judge Anne-Mary Gowora handed down an order on Tuesday compelling police to search for Mukoko, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), which is representing her in court.

The judge’s ruling ordered police to "dispatch a team of police detectives to work very closely and in conjunction with lawyers appointed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to search for Jestina Mukoko".

She also told police to report back to the court every day until Mukoko is found, the lawyers said.

Police have denied holding Mukoko, and Zimbabwe’s information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu on Tuesday denied any state-sponsored abductions.

"When some people are taken by the police for investigations, then their relatives say they have been abducted," Ndlovu told reporters. – AFP