Three officers from the Law and Order department armed with a warrant of arrest, visited the Zimbabwe Independent offices in central Harare on Saturday and interviewed the newspaper company’s chief executive officer, Raphael Khumalo.
The author of the story, Constantine Chimakure who is the Zimbabwe Independent’s News Editor and Editor Kahiya were not at work, as the business weekly’s staff does not work on Saturday.
The police are now hunting for the Editor who is reported to be in South Africa while Chimakure is still at large.
According to the story, the Zimbabwe Independent alleged that the Attorney General’s Office had revealed the names of some of the members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the police, who were allegedly involved in the abduction of human rights and MDC activists last November.
Eighteen MDC and human rights activists, among them Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko, were allegedly abducted, kept incommunicado and tortured between November and December last year by state security agents.
Notices of indictment for trial in the High Court served on some of the activists this week revealed the role the CIO and the police played when the activists were reported missing last year.
They also revealed that the activists were in the custody of state spies, though the police professed ignorance of their whereabouts until late December when they issued a press statement indicating that the abductees were in their custody and facing banditry charges.
A perusal of the notices revealed that Assistant Director External in the CIO, retired Brigadier Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi, police superintendents Reggies Chitekwe and Joel Tenderere, detective inspectors Elliot Muchada and Joshua Muzanango, officer commanding CID Homicide Crispen Makedenge, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi and Senior Assistant Commissioner Simon Nyathi were also involved in some of the abductions.
In the notice of indictment served on Regis Mujeye, the Attorney-General’s Office said Tapfumaneyi would tell the High Court when the trial opens on June 29 that on November 29 last year he “caused” the accused “to be collected from a secure place” where he was being held in connection with banditry allegations.
Mujeye, freelance journalist Shadreck Andrison Manyere, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s former aide Gandhi Mudzingwa, MDC-T security director Kisimusi Dhlamini and party members Zacharia Nkomo, Chinoto Zulu, and Mapfumo Garutsa, are facing five counts of twice bombing Harare Central Police Station, Manyame River and Rail Bridge and Harare CID headquarters at Morris Depot.
“He (Tapfumaneyi) will state that he captured the 1st accused (Dhlamini)’s statement on video, in which he narrated his involvement, especially the bombings and implicated the 2nd accused person (Mudzingwa),” read the notice.
“The 1st accused’s statement which was captured on video was given freely and voluntarily.”
Another indictment notice was served on MDC-T youth chairman for Zvimba District, Collen Mutemagau, Tapfumaneyi and Nyathi.
Mutemagau is jointly charged with MDC-T national executive member Concillia Chinanzvavana and fellow party members Fidelis Chiramba and Violet Mupfuranhewe on allegations that between July 1 and October 30 last year they recruited Tapera Mupfuranhewe and other party youths to undergo military training in Botswana, for the purpose of committing acts of banditry.
The AG’s office said Tapfumaneyi would tell the High Court when the case opens on June 8 that he used Tapera as an informer in the alleged recruitment of the youths.
Nyathi will testify that on October 31, Magwenzi arrested Chiramba and Violet on banditry allegations and their warned and cautioned statements recorded. They were released on November 4 from police custody.
The two accused persons, according to their lawyers, were then abducted.
“He (Nyathi) will state that on 22 December 2008, accused persons were handed over to Chief Superintendent Magwenzi by state security agents and on 23 December 2003 he interviewed them and later recorded warned and cautioned statements,” the notice read.
In another notice of indictment served on MDC-T activist Manuel Chinanzvavana, who is jointly charged with Mukoko, Audrey Zimbudzana, Broderick Takawira and Pieta Kaseke, Magwenzi will testify that the five accused persons were handed over to him by the CIO on December 23, while Tapfumaneyi will confirm that he interviewed the suspects and recorded a video in connection with their case.
Chinanzvavana, Mukoko, Zimbudzana, Takawira and Kaseke will face trial in the High Court on July 20 on allegations that between April 2008 and October 31 2008 they recruited Ricardo Hwasheni to undergo military training in Botswana for purposes of banditry in Zimbabwe.