Magombeyi's abduction requires a firm 'Jamal Khashoggi-style' solidarity response

Magombeyi's abduction requires a firm 'Jamal Khashoggi-style' solidarity response
Published: 19 September 2019 (195 Views)
The recent abduction of the acting president the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association (ZHDA) Dr. Peter Magombeyi should be a wake up call for all Zimbabweans to finally stand strongly together against this evil scourge of intolerance and brutal repression that has gripped our nation.

During our schooling days, we learnt about how prominent nationalist Edison Sithole was abducted in broad daylight by suspected Rhodesia state security agents, and was never to been seen again. Yet, who would have ever imagined such a gruesome thing occurring in an independent Zimbabwe. However, that has exactly what we have been unfornately witnessing ever since the Union Jack was last lowered in this country in 1980.

The people of the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces were the first to experience this most heinous form of repression, during the darkest part of this country's modern day history of Gukurahundi - whereby, over 20,000 innocent men, women and children were massacred by the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade - as countless people vanished without a trace, leaving behind families that even today are not aware of their whereabouts. This occurance resulted in thousands of children growing up without any form of identification, as they could not acquire birth registration certificates due to the unexplained absence of their parents - effectively rendering them stateless - something against international law - in addition to denying them an education, and formal employment.

This heartless repression of forced disappearances did not stop there, as the next four decades of Zimbabwe's oppressive history continued to be soiled by numerous such cases.

Of note, was the 2015 abduction of prominent journalist cum activist Itai Dzamara from his residential suburb in broad daylight, yet to date, no progress at all has ever been made regarding his whereabouts, and neither has his family received any state assistance in their welfare.

In spite of a court ruling compelling the state to investigate and issue regular updates on Dzamara - who rose to prominence for his one-man 'Mugabe must go!' protests in Zimbabwe capital city Harare's Africa Unity Square - his family says that this has largely been ignored.

As much as there was an outcry by various sections of Zimbabwean society regarding his abduction - which galvanized reasonable international and local attention and pressure - the recent upsurge of similar incidences points to the urgent need for further firmer and more concerted solidarity by a cross-section of country in standing up against this evil scourge.

In 2019 alone, it had so far been reported that there has been over 50 cases of abductions of activists. This is surely very troubling, especially in a country that touts itself as democratic, where basical rights should be respected.

What also makes the most recent cases of abductions particularly worrying is the targeting of labour rights activists - who would normally not be expected to be in the crosshairs - who would be merely exercising their constitutional rights to 'fair and safe labour practices and standards and to be paid a fair and reasonable wage', through their right 'to form and join trade unions and employee organisations of their choice, and participate in the lawful activities of those unions and organizations' by 'participating in collective job action, including the right to strike, sit in, withdraw their labour and take similar concerted action'.

Then what would justify the abduction and beating up of a leader of a teachers' union, such as Obert Masaraure, the president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), for merely calling for a strike to demand a decent wage?

A few days ago, the nation was again rocked by the abduction of Magombeyi for exercising the same rights for doctors - and his whereabouts are yet to be accounted for.

What impresses me, though, is the unified response by doctors and other health professionals, who have come together in solidarity demanding the immediate and safe return of their colleague. This is a first for Zimbabwe, as this measure of solidarity through concrete and concerted action has not been seen before.

Furthermore, other organizations - such as ARTUZ - have thrown their weight through various pledges for action, including strikes.

Such is what has been missing in this country - the 'one for all, and all for one' solidarity in the face of wanton repression by an increasingly intolerant and brutal people.

What threat and danger does someone calling for better wages and working conditions pose to the establishment that warrants such a brutal response?

In fact, can any brutal repression ever be justifiable under any circumstances? Never.

These are simply the hallmarks of a people who are paranoid and haunted by their own shadows. A people whose only response to dissent is panic characterized by brazen callous brutality.

The solidarity that we witnessed by the international community in the face of a similarly brutal abduction and murder of Saudi Arabia journalist cum activist Jamal Khashoggi in his country's consulate in Turkey, is what is now required to put an end to these savage acts.

After Khashoggi's murder, the global media fraternity exhibited a unity that had never been witnessed before to place pressure on the Saudi regime. This inevitably led to further pressure mounting in other facets of the global community, such that, although the Saudi authorities initially sought to rubbish his abduction, they soon had to acknowledge their role - albeit, blaming 'rogue elements'.

Nonetheless, what this solidarity proved was the undeniable power of unity in the face of wanton repression.

Zimbabweans now need to actively unite around the demand for Dr. Peter Magombeyi's immediate and safe return, and the end to these abductions. This message should unequivocally be taken across borders, such that real and genuine action is taken against such a primitive practice.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activists, writer, author, and speaker. Please contact him on email: gmail., or WhatsApp/call: +263733399640, or calls only: +263715667700, or +263782283975.

- Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

PHOTOS: Job Sikhala becomes an instant internet joke

by Social media | 03 October 2019 | 257 Views

America says it is worried about Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 03 October 2019 | 312 Views

Madinda Ndlovu to be discharged tomorrow

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 192 Views

What are behavioral disorders and how can they be managed?

by Temba Munsaka | 03 October 2019 | 180 Views

Government speaks on Robert Mugabe's body parts

by Mandla Ndlovu | 03 October 2019 | 321 Views

Zacc recovers $100m property from looters

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 189 Views

WATCH: Mnangagwa apologises for destroying Zimbabwe satire

by Mandla Ndlovu | 03 October 2019 | 179 Views

Mphoko's application for release of passport dismissed

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 145 Views

Zanu-PF restructuring exercise begins

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 148 Views

Petrotrade declares $1.5 million dividend

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 93 Views

MSU, Zupco seal bus deal

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 168 Views

Mnangagwa to open ZMF conference

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 154 Views

High Court sets EcoCash hearing date

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 149 Views

Mphoko barred from leaving Zimbabwe

by ZimLive | 03 October 2019 | 150 Views

CIO agents monitor Jonathan Moyo in Kenya

by Mandla Ndlovu | 03 October 2019 | 375 Views

Acie Lumumba targets criminals around Mnangagwa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 03 October 2019 | 360 Views

$100 limit for cash-out transactions

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 260 Views

ANC starts anti-sanctions campaign

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 144 Views

ZESN calls for political parties regulation

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 126 Views

We've no forced labour evidence on Zimbabwe diamonds, says US Embassy

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 140 Views

Ex-ZPC board chairman freed on bail

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 135 Views

Cyber Bill seeks to safeguard citizens

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 110 Views

Cassava launches Vaya tractor services

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 148 Views

MDC Alliance boycott slammed

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 101 Views

10-man Bulawayo Chiefs stun Harare City

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 111 Views

Zimbabwe has a reputational problem, says US

by newzimbabwe | 03 October 2019 | 124 Views

MDC Alliance walk of shame

by Nduduzo Tshuma | 03 October 2019 | 191 Views

MDC councillors want suspension of Cowdray Park projects

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 113 Views

RBZ floats $300m additional TBs

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 107 Views

Teenagers rob soldier

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 116 Views

Duo rape corpse, get death sentence

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 124 Views

Mnangagwa to fly out for the zenith times

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 106 Views

Chamisa's MPs approach court to reverse 5 months allowance garnish

by newzimbabwe | 03 October 2019 | 84 Views

Zimra official forges Customs papers

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 70 Views

Zifa courts two nations for Warriors' friendlies

by Staff reporter | 03 October 2019 | 57 Views