‘Missing’ doctor Magombeyi found

Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations and Special Reports Editor
HARARE medical doctor Peter Magombeyi, who reportedly went missing last Friday, was yesterday found in Nyabira, about 40km from the city centre. His alleged abduction and disappearance sparked demonstrations, with medical doctors downing tools demanding his release, but there were questions on the authenticity of the claim, amid indications that the disappearance could have been staged.

Speaking to The Herald on his mobile phone last night, Dr Magombeyi said he was safe and sound.

“I am safe and sound. I don’t have much to say, but I am in Nyabira, waiting for my colleagues to come and pick me up.”

He said he had a hazy recollection of what transpired since his alleged abduction in Budiriro last weekend.

“I only remember that I was kidnapped by three men in town and I do not remember what happened afterwards,” he said.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) secretary-general Dr Mthabisi Bhebhe also confirmed that Dr Magombeyi had been found.

“I have called him and he indicated he is safe and sound. I personally spoke to him. He is in a bushy area somewhere, but he is well,” he said.

An hour after The Herald called him, Dr Magombeyi confirmed that he was now in the company of his colleagues.

He also granted an interview to Voice of America’s Studio 7.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi last night said they were still to establish circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that Dr Peter Magombeyi (26) who went missing on September 14, has been found by the police at Nyabira,” he said.

He added that Dr Magombeyi had been debriefed by the police and had access to his lawyers.

Asst Comm Nyathi said Dr Magombeyi had no physical injuries and was due to be examined by health authorities to ascertain any injuries he may have suffered during the ordeal. News of Dr Magombeyi’s alleged abduction and disappearance last weekend spread wildly, with opposition and civil society blaming it on State agents.

There has been a series of such abductions lately, which have strongly been suspected to be either staged for publicity purposes or directed by some agents to besmirch the image of Zimbabwean Government ahead of regional and international forums such as Sadc summit and the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting to be held in New York, United States.

However, a Harare Central Hospital internal memorandum dated September 16, 2019 and addressed to the chief executive officer by the human resources department, indicated that Dr Magombeyi bade farewell to his colleague and told him to lock up the door since he was going for an all-night prayer.

Anti-Government lobbyists and civil society are widely believed to be faking abductions and blaming the State to soil Zimbabwe’s image in the international community.

Further, the United States Embassy in Harare – a stonethrow from where Dr Mugombeyi was found – is believed to be behind the so-called black ops and heightened anti-establishment agitation to maintain a hostile, hardline stance against Zimbabwe, inclusive of sanctions despite Harare’s best efforts under President Mnanagwa to reform and seek rapprochement with the global family of nations.