MDC activist escapes abductors after 6 months

MDC activist escapes abductors after 6 months

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For over six months, Munyanyi, who was among hundreds of MDC supporters who went missing following last year’s post-election violence, said he did not know where he was, after he was locked up by State security agents in a dark room without blankets, clothing or toilet facilities.

During that period, Munyanyi says he was also given very little to eat. Munyanyi, an MDC activist from Shana Village in Gutu South, Masvingo province, lived in fear everyday for those six months, not knowing whether he will ever see the outside world again let alone his wife, Jacqueline and three year-old son Malvern.

Munyanyi’s six month ordeal started on the afternoon of 13 December 2008 at Utsinda Business Centre in Gutu where he met three men driving a white singlecab CAM truck who pounced on him.

The men assaulted him and tried to force him into the vehicle.CAM trucks were last year well known for being used in the abduction of MDC and human rights activists across the country.

“I however, managed to escape from them and ran away. One of them then started firing shots at me and when the third shot was fired I panicked and fell to the ground.

“That is when they started kicking me very hard with booted feet until I collapsed. From then on I don’t know what happened,” he said.

When Munyanyi later became conscious, he found that he was locked up in a dark room with a broken arm and a missing tooth.

Unknown to Munyanyi, this was going to be his home for the coming six months.

“I never received any treatment for my broken arm and I had to use the T-shirt I was wearing when I was abducted as an arm sling. I received excruciating torture during this period,” he said. Munyanyi is one of over 50 MDC supporters who were abducted mafiastyle by State security agents on false charges that they were being recruited by the MDC for military training in Botswana to topple the Zanu PF regime.

“It was a harrowing experience as I was still tortured although I was in pain with a broken arm,” Munyanyi said.

He said his daily meal was a plate of sadza with salt as relish once a day while on the other hand he had no toilet facilities and no blankets.

“I would sleep on the floor and after every two weeks, I was given a bucket of water for cleaning the room since I had to relieve myself in that very room.

“However, what made my experience more worrying was that my abductors never talked to me but simply tortured me on a weekly basis without a word said,” he said.

On 29 June 2009, one of Munyanyi’s abductors came to the room at night and left the door open, which had never happened in the past six months that he was incarcerated.

“Within five minutes I had bolted out of the room and I sprinted out of the place before scaling the fence,” he said.

He spent four days walking in the bush until he arrived at Filabusi, Matebeleland South province.

A Good Samaritan gave him bus fare to travel to Masvingo but when he got home he discovered that his house had been burnt down and property looted and his wife had also been beaten up by unknown people.

“My wife had to leave for her parents’ home in Chivi as she could not cope with the intimidation and harassment that she was getting from Zanu PF supporters in the area,” he said. Since his escape from his abductors, Munyanyi says he has managed to have his arm treated but is still having sleepless nights because of what he went through.

“However, despite the ordeal I have gone through I remain an active and dedicated MDC supporter and will continue to work tirelessly for the party,” he said.

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