Zimbabwe police prevent 'abducted' doctor from travelling for medical treatment
Johannesburg – Zimbabwe's "abducted" doctor Peter Magombeyi, is being prevented from leaving to travel to South Africa for further medical treatment – in contempt of a court order ruling that he should be allowed to travel.
Approximately 100 Zimbabwe riot police surrounded the Avenues Clinic in the capital Harare late Tuesday preventing Magombeyi from leaving the hospital grounds despite a High Court ruling by Justice Happias Zhou.
“The respondents or any person or officer acting through them or on their behalf be and are hereby interdicted from preventing directly or indirectly, Peter Gabriel Magombeyi from leaving Zimbabwe for purposes of accessing medical services in the Republic of South Africa,” the court ruling stated.
Magombeyi, who is the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), was seized last week in what appears to be a politically motivated abduction, after calling for a pay strike as Zimbabwe's health care system collapses. Hundreds of medical staff are refusing to return to work until their pay and working conditions improve and kidnappings cease.
Rumours that he had died in custody began to circulate. However, he was subsequently released with his medical condition undetermined.
Doug Coltart from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyer said: “We now have 51 abductions just this year. It’s a massive concern, and all of these abductions follow a similar modus operandi, where people come - typically men in masks using military-grade weapons such AK-47s - break into people’s homes, abducting them and torturing them".
However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) assert that social media is being abused to propagate falsehoods, including alleged abductions as a means to tarnish the country’s image and compromise its security.