Lawyers representing the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders last week wrote a petition to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) requesting for investigations into the death threats issued against them.
A letter addressed to the Harare Central Police Station’s Officer in Charge, dated August 16, 2019, and signed by Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, on behalf of the ZCTU leaders reads in part:
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We write to bring to your attention and formally request you to cause an investigation into various threats of death received by our client on Thursday 15 August 2019 at 18:14 hrs, through an SMS on his mobile phone which read as follows ‘IF YOU GO AND GIVE A SOLIDARITY MSG TOMORROW U ARE DEAD’. The message was sent using an Econet subscriber number263786645911.
The lawyers claimed that the ominous message was sent to the ZCTU, secretary-general, Japhet Moyo, as well as to the union’s president, Peter Mutasa.
ZCTU secretary-general, Japhet Moyo allegedly received another message on his mobile phone which read:
JAPHET MOYO U TEND TO FORGET QUICKLY WE KNW WHERE U STAY IN CHITOWN AND ALL YO FAMILY MEMBERS. IF YOU HAPPEN TO SET YOUR FOOT AT THE MDC ALLIANCE DEMONSTRATION ON 16 AUGUST 2019. THE BULLET U ONCE RECEIVED AS PARCEL SHALL PASS THRU YO HEAD AND. IF U WANT POLITICS COME OUT CLEAN. BE WARNED AGAINST GIVING SOLIDARITY MESSAGE TOMORROW YOUR FAMILY STILL NEEDS YOU.
Econet numbers, +263777584972 and +263772997279 were used to send threatening messages as well as repeating the same threats verbally.
The lawyers told the police that their clients now live in fear following the recent abductions of human rights activists. They wrote:
As a result, our client now fears for his life, especially in view of the recent spate of abductions involving Tatenda Mombeyarara, Blessing Kanotunga, Cosmas Mhashwa, Marlon Kanda and Councilor Makweza from Chitungwiza.
All these matters have been reported to the police to the best of our client’s knowledge. We have reason to believe that these matters are related and are being perpetrated by the same persons or grouping of persons.