By Own Correspondent
Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) secretary-general Robson Chere survived an abduction attempt by four suspected state security agents on Sunday, the union said.
The alleged incident occurred around 9PM at the Arcturus mining community in Goromonzi, where the trade unionist was visiting with a friend.
Chere said the four men approached and tried to drag him into an IST white Toyota vehicle whose number plates he failed to make out because the car’s backlights were turned off.
Three of the suspects, the union leader said, were identified by locals as Wirimai Manyati, Carlos Kamudyariyo, and Munyaradzi Manyati, a Mutoko businessman affiliated with Zanu PF.
Kukurigo could not independently verify the alleged identities.
The unionist said he only survived after screaming hysterically, attracting the attention of a “security guard, storekeeper, and other locals” before seeking refuge at a nearby maize field where he hunkered down like a “lifeless corpse” until he was in the clear.
“I then went to my friend’s place where l slept in the bathroom fearing that the state agents were still pursuing my whereabouts and would return to abduct me,” Chere said via telephone.
“In the afternoon I reported the matter to the police, whose RB case number I’m yet to be given.”
Chere said he was now living in fear as he had been “abducted several times before” by state operators using the same “modus operandi” to deal with vocal teachers.
National police spokesman Paul Nyathi was not taking calls for comment.
Human rights defenders say Zimbabwe has seen a surge in state-sponsored kidnappings in the last three years after President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in a military coup that toppled the late Robert Mugabe.