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05/20/2020 Zimbabwe (Vatican News) – Three Zimbabwean female leaders were allegedly abducted in Harare by unknown men on Wednesday, last week. These women are members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-Alliance). These three, Joana Mamombe (MP for Harare West), Cecilia Chimbiri (MDC Alliance Youth Assembly Vice-Chair) and Netsai Marova (Deputy Organizing Secretary of the Youth wing) were protesting the government’s COVID-19 lockdown implemented without social protection for the country’s poor. The three female leaders were taken from police custody, and were tortured, sexually assaulted, and inhumanely treated by the yet to be known agents. They were later found on Friday abused and traumatized by the roadside north of Harare, Zimbabwe. This happened a few days after the violent physical assault of two sisters, Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu, of Cowdray Park, Bulawayo by six police officers.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), a part of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) denounced the abductions of the three female MDC leaders. The Zimbabwean Christian leaders stated, “that is against the heart of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the various International Conventions to which Zimbabwe is a signatory and, above all, to our cultural norms and our fundamental Christian beliefs regarding the sanctity and dignity of life.” Also, Zimbabwean church leaders want a full investigation to happen for this case and they mention the following, “What is further disturbing are the insinuations, from some state agents, that all these abductions arc either stage-managed or carried out by an unrecognizable “third force” without substantiating such claims with credible and irrefutable evidence.” Zimbabwe’s Church leaders under ZHOCD continue to offer pastoral support, comfort and protection to all victims of abductions and brutality.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Raymond Kazembe has ordered the Commissioner-General of Police to fully investigate the abduction of the three female opposition leaders.

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