MDC Alliance spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere has accused the government of creating the fake news that the party’s co-vice president, Tendai Biti had been abducted by unknown gunmen.
She was responding to a statement by Home Affairs Minister, Kazembe Kazembe which accused the opposition party of staging abductions to “soil the image of the country.”
Kaazembe’s comment came after MDC Alliance had already dismissed the reports that Biti had been abducted as false saying he was safe but he was being monitored by suspected state security agents. Pindula News presents Kazembe’s statement.
PRESS STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE ON THE ALLEGED ABDUCTION OF MDC-ALLIANCE DEPUTY LEADER, TENDAI BITI
Government notes with concern the growing tendency to peddle false allegations of human rights abuses designed to soil the image of the country and to solicit underserved international sympathy.
The latest example being the fake news, circulated on 08 November 2021 about the alleged abduction of MDC-A Vice leader, Tendai Biti, by 5 armed men. The falsehood went viral, with Government being falsely accused of orchestrating forced disappearances and abduction of political opponents to silence the opposition.
The MDC-A took a long time to respond to the false news before its Spokesperson, Fadzai Mahere, issued a statement dismissing the fake news.
The abduction narrative follows the same template used before in the staged disappearances of activist and medical doctor, Peter Magombeyi, and that of MDC-A youths, Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova. These reports always surface on the eve of global summits or the periodic reviews of Western-imposed sanctions. This latest story coincides with growing calls for the unconditional removal of sanctions against the country, following UN Rapporteur, Professor Alena Douhan’s report, whose findings the MDC-A, particularly Biti, disputed.
Law enforcement agencies will unearth those behind the peddling of such false narratives and ensure that the perpetrators face the law.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has confirmed that no report of such a matter has been made at any police station by Tendai Biti or his party.
In response, Mahere said the fake story was a creation of the state meant to discredit past reports of abduction. She said:
The regime create their own fake news then blame us for it. The MDC Alliance never spread fake news about VP @BitiTendai. Rather, as soon as a false story was published by a random online publication, we quickly investigated it & communicated that there was no truth to it.
This is a regrettable attempt by the regime to use fake news to downplay past abduction & torture incidents that to date haven’t been investigated by the regime. We won’t stop demanding accountability for the MDC Trio & other victims of state-sponsored torture.