Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has distanced the State and its security agents from mysterious abductions against government critics that have hit the country in the recent past.
Ziyambi was speaking at a Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum panel discussion on Friday as government continues to claim that a “Third Force” was responsible for the abductions.
The Zanu PF politician said despite suspicions the State was involved, none of those making the claims have since come forward with evidence of any involvement by the security forces.
However, Ziyambi appeared to have failed to respond to a question by Jestina Mukoko on why Zimbabwean police continuously failed to arrest a single person involved in the kidnappings.
“When you speak about the Third Force, you are more or less speaking of a terrorist organisation; the modus operandi is that they do not do it publicly,” Ziyambi said.
“On working and identifying them, surely that is what we want. We want to identify that because we are the State… we are not in the culture of abducting people as the Second Republic.
“And people claim that they have been abducted and certainly there is someone doing that; those abductions, that becomes a third force.
“The state didn’t abduct anyone and nobody has identified any state agent who has abducted them, and we are saying to ourselves, if it’s not the state, then there is a third force that is organised, that is doing this for a specific purpose,” Ziyambi added amid disapproval from the audience.
The Justice Minister went on to say that the government is not sure what the ZRP is expected to do, giving the example of doctors’ union leader Peter Magumbeyi’s abduction he claimed was stage-managed.
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) director Jestina Mukoko a victim of kidnapping told the Justice Minister that there is no ‘manual’ to abductions.
“I am a bit worried that our police which is known for cracking cases, how they are failing cases around abductions not even a single one,” she said.
“There is no manual out there for abductions and I think the police need to be able investigate and complete so that we are satisfied in terms of these people that the Justice Minister spoke about.”
Since January, Zimbabwe’s civic groups claims they have recorded at least 67 cases of alleged abductions and no single arrest has been made.