Prominent medical doctor and activist, Peter Magombeyi, a leader of the doctors’ strike action in Zimbabwe was abducted and tortured but can’t recall details of his disappearance.
Zimbabwean Doctors had been on strike since September 3, 2019, over poor pay. The doctors were paid less than $200 a month and were asking for an increment in order to keep up with Zimbabwe’s mounting inflation. They were able to pressure the government into making some concessions particularly some pay rise.
Dr. Peter Magombeyi, the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association was the brain behind the call for salary increment for doctors. Then on Saturday he was was abducted taken an area called Nyabira, close to 21-miles from Harare. He said he could not remember what happened to him.
“I honestly don’t know how to truly identify myself, but I am Dr. Peter Magombeyi, I work at Harare Hospital,” Magombeyi said. He added “I didn’t have any obvious signs of physical injury, but only generalized pain. My last recollection before being taken by unnamed people, were memories of being electrocuted”. No one knows exactly what happened to him as he himself says he might have retrograde amnesia.
Zimbabwean authorities and the police have denied being involved in the doctor’s disappearance but promise to investigate. To the government a third party may be involved so as to tarnish its image.
Zimbabwe’s National Police spokesperson, Paul Nyathi said “[Magombeyi] has been examined by his own medical team and a government team,” “He is safe and has not been arrested at all as claimed in some sections of the media.” In an interview with VOA Studio 7 one of Magombeyi’s colleagues said “[Magombeyi] was picked up by the police who took him to the Central Police Station in Harare”.
On the part of his lawyers, they were denied permission to see their client. In the meantime, Zimbabwean doctors have refused to heed to the administration’s call for them to go back to work while negotiations continue.
Following the removal from power of Zimbabwe’s pioneer President Robert Mugabe, henchmen took over Zimbabwe and have pursued violent repression of dissent. The regime has used a twin strategy of crackdown and feigning inclusiveness and democracy. Despite the regime’s claim it had nothing to do with the abduction and torture of Magombeyi, the Zimbabwean regime has targeted protest leaders in the past.