MDC-T activist missing, family claims foul play

An MDC-T activist has been reported missing for the past three days amid fears he could have been abducted by fellow party members as internal battles to control crucial party positions ahead of congress in May hot up.

Police have since opened investigations after the alleged mysterious disappearance of Terrence Mambende, who was last seen last Saturday.

The family has fingered Mbizo MP and MDC-T Midlands North Provincial secretary Settlement Chikwinya as the likely hand behind the disappearance.

Chikwinya, who was picked by police for questioning on Monday and later released, denied the allegations as mere political mudslinging by fellow party followers.

“I can confirm that the police picked me up in connection with the disappearance of Mambende, but I have since been released after giving them a statement.

“ I don’t know anything about the matter. There are some people intent on soiling my good image so that they can wrestle my position ahead of congress,” said Chikwinya.

However, Terence’s mother, Vinnah, insisted Chikwinya was behind her son’s disappearance. She alleged her son sent a distress text massage to his young brother Precious Mandeya alleging he had been abducted by people aligned to Chikwinya.

The message sent last Sunday at 14:43 hours and shown to NewsDay reads: “Ndiri patit nevanhu vaChikwinya. Pliz help. (I am in a tight fix with Chikwinya’s supporters. Please help).”

“I don’t know if my son is still alive, I have not seen him since Saturday and his phone has not been reachable, the last thing he did was send a text massage telling his brother that he was in some sort of trouble with people aligned to Chikwinya,” said Vinnah.

Provincial police spokesperson Patrick Chandemana, could not comment on the investigations saying he was not at work and will only be back by Friday.

However, sources within the police said they are treating the matter with caution after it emerged that Mambende was under investigation for a different charge of leaking an Ordinary Level Zimsec Mathematics examination paper.

The sources said Zimsec had since withheld the release of O-Level results for 64 pupils who set for the examinations last year at Emtongeni Primary School.

The students, who were enrolled at Chirodzo Commercial College in Mbizo wrote their examinations at Emtonjeni. Vinnah confirmed her son had been summoned by Zimsec.

“Yes I know Terrence’s students passed very well and this caused Zimsec to call my son and asked him to visit their offices, but Chikwinya’s people want to hide behind a finger after they took away my son,” she said. – NewsDay