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While we do not want to rush ahead of police investigations on the alleged abduction of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) acting leader Dr Peter Magombeyi, we cannot resist the clear observation that his story does not add up.
Since he was “found” in Nyabira, about 40 kilometres west of Harare, on Thursday evening, Dr Magombeyi has been telling the world an unbelievable story, which is at variance with someone who had been abducted.
We hope that the good doctor will sober up soon and tell the world the true story behind his so-called abduction.
Zimbabweans were definitely not amused by the way Dr Magombeyi professed ignorance of what exactly happened to him in his first interviews after he as “found”.
What was shocking to those who listened to the interviews was that Dr Magombeyi would remember everything else, including his name, his workplace and where he was, but when asked critical questions his answer was that he had lost memory.
This selective manner in which he carefully chose what to reveal, leaving the most important details that could give people pointers to what exactly happened to him leaves a lot of loopholes in his narrative.
Dr Magombeyi only indicated that he was taken to a basement and put on electric shocks, an old story used by many involved in fake abductions before in order to gain sympathy. But this time around, it seems Dr Magombeyi’s story has failed to stick.
The good doctor has a lot to explain and answer critical questions from Zimbabweans who have observed that his story does not add up and leaves a lot of gaps.
For instance, how will Dr Magombeyi convince the people that his abductors were busy charging his cellphone for the five days he was in “captivity”?
Unless he possesses a super cellphone that remains fully charged for five days, then the acting leader of the doctors’ association has a lot of explaining to do on that front.
We are saying this because his whereabouts were revealed by some media which spoke to him on his cellphone while he was still holed-up in Nyabira.
A quick check on the EcoCash platform reveals that indeed the number is registered in his name.
This is one of the many huddles which Dr Magombeyi has to clear before he can start of thinking of convincing people on his abduction. Then the doctor claims he was tortured with electric shocks in a certain basement for the five days he was in captivity from Saturday to Thursday when he was eventually “found”.
Surely, it will take an extraordinary human being to go under such a torture for so many days and emerge unscathed.
Of course, we are aware of the medical examinations being undertaken on Dr Magombeyi, but the fact that he does not show any signs of torture leaves many wondering.
As if that was not enough, pictures of a smartly dressed Dr Magombeyi emerged the same night he was “found” when his lawyers visited him at Harare Central Police Station.
How he was abducted for five days, went under torture for all those days and emerge unruffled demands many answers from him.
We urge the police to leave no stone unturned in their quest to establish the truth on what really transpired since Dr Magombeyi left his home in Budiriro suburb for an all-night prayer vigil.
How he left his home was revealed in a memo done by Harare Central Hospital after its human resources department carried out an investigation into what transpired.
And the way he left home, telling his roommate that he was going for an all-night prayer and also instructing him to lock the doors since he was not returning, does not reflect an abduction.
This is why we urge Zimbabweans not to rush to point to abduction in cases where someone, for one reason or another, decides to disappear from the ‘radar’.
There is a huge distinction between abduction and disappearance.
In this case, we do not believe that Dr Magombeyi was of much interest to the State, except that he was leading the doctors’ association.
Doctors have gone on strike before and the Government has handled such protests well, reaching amicable solutions with the workers on numerous occasions.
The Government clearly knows fully well how to handle such strikes by doctors and abduction is not one of them, as shown in such previous occurrences.
In fact, President Mnangagwa’s administration has been at the forefront of preaching the gospel of re-engagement.
Obviously, Government cannot shoot itself in the foot by embarking on such meaningless “abductions”, which are not of any significance to its cause.
We stand by our earlier observation that the recent spate of people claiming abduction, but failing to substantiate their stories raises eyebrows.
After each so-called abduction, the opposition has been at the forefront of pointing a finger to the State, yet they too have a potential to abduct people for their own political gain.
The truth we all now know is that the State does not have a monopoly on abduction — anyone can abduct a person for their personal gains, and we envisage the case of Dr Magombeyi helping to buttress this observation.