An investigation by the respected online news publisher, ZimLive.com has revealed that one of the vehicles that were used in the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa, the publication’s editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu, was hired from Impala Car Rental in Harare.
University of Kent law lecturer and political commentator, Alex Magaisa, said Impala should disclose the person or people who hired the car that was used to commit the crime. He said:
Now we know an Impala Car Rental vehicle was used in the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa. It’s not Impala’s fault. But what’s wrong is for Impala to plead confidentiality to protect people committing crimes against humanity. There’s a risk of a cover-up which is wrong.
We often see Zimbabweans of a certain profile doing marketing jobs for Impala Car Rental. Should Impala insist on protecting the identity of the abductors and torturers, these high profile individuals should seriously reconsider their work for Impala or risk enabling.
More importantly, car rental companies rely on bulk rentals usually by NGOs and CSOs. It would be a travesty if these organisations some in human rights continue to patronise a company that’s refusing to co-operate with a victim of abduction and torture. They too would be enabling.
Impala has a duty to disclose this information, especially to Tawanda Muchehiwa. Saying they will disclose to the police is pointless. Police were involved in his abduction so they also have an interest in covering up the tracks.
Mathuthu has been in hiding for nearly a month after police turned his house upside looking for material they alleged could be used to commit acts of violence.
Before his release after three days of inhumane treatment by his captors, Muchehiwa was told to warn his uncle, Mathuthu to stop his investigative journalism.
Mathuthu’s investigative work exposed a multi-million dollar corruption scandal by government officials and, alongside freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who pushed the issue until a cabinet minister was fired, have been targeted.