THE MDC Monday claimed Bulawayo Deputy Mayor and top party official Tinashe Kambarami and two other party officials were abducted by suspected State agents in the city on Monday.
This follows tension in the city which saw an unprecedented heavy deployment of soldiers and police officers ahead of the banned demonstrations in the city on Monday.
Addressing journalists at the Tredgold Magistrate Courts where the party had filed a challenge against the protest ban, MDC national spokesperson Daniel Molokele said Kambarami, who is also party provincial youth chair was abducted.
The other two officials are party provincial secretary for the youth assembly Pashu Sibanda and his father.
“We have just received information that our Deputy Mayor Kambarami, Pashu Sibanda and his father have been abducted. It seems the regime is now using abductions to intimidate the people of Zimbabwe,” said Molokele.
The alleged abduction follows similar incidents that have been visited upon a handful party activists and some civil society groups in the past few weeks amid reports of assault and torture by the State.
Government has blamed the widely condemned abductions on a third hand which comprises elements linked to former President Robert Mugabe.
In his comments, Molokele also criticised the government for allegedly flooding the city with State agents, police officers and soldiers.
“Today (Monday), in Bulawayo we woke up to hundreds of police officers in police trucks sealing the city of Bulawayo.
“Access to our provincial offices was blocked and they are still being blocked right now. All our workers have vacated their offices,” said Molokele.
Since early hours of Monday, dozens of baton wielding anti-riot police trucks were deployed at the iconic city hall while there was also an overheard patrol of the city by a helicopter which kept hovering in the sky.
Said Molokele, “The large city hall is surrounded. If you walk around in the city, there are police officers and soldiers mounted on horses patrolling the city in blatant violation of Section 59 of our constitution which gives citizens the right to demonstrate,” he said.
Molokele vowed that his party will go ahead with planned demonstrations in other centres.
“Tomorrow, we will be in Gweru demonstrating while the next day we will be in Mutare. We want to notify all police stations be it Buhera, Nkayi, Beitbridge or any other places that we will be demonstrating. It is our right to do as long as we follow the law,” he said.
Bulawayo city was quiet in the morning as the day progressed people went about their business as usual with supermarkets and banks opened.