According to Africa News, one of the three women is Joanna Mamombe, who has made waves as the youngest member of parliament in the country. The other two are youth activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marov.
The three women were protesting the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic after President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended the country’s lockdown for an indefinite period earlier this week. In response, protesters took to the streets, claiming that the measures have already created a severe food crisis that has affected at least half the population, as reported by Al Jazeera.
According to reports, the three women were taken from the protest’s location in Harare in what has been called an “enforced disappearance.” The women were then “dumped and found late last night” after being assaulted by their captors.
According to The Daily Herald, the women ended up being found by a “sympathetic villager” who had heard the trio calling for help.
Richard Chimbiri, the father of one of the women, told reporters that the experience has been a harrowing one of the trio.
“One can’t even talk, the other is just crying and another has been taken for some tests. They were seriously beaten up and stripped of their clothing. They are in pain, they are in bad shape,” he said.
Meanwhile, leaders in Zimbabwe have expressed their outrage over the way the women were attacked.
“Sadly, they are in bad shape having been subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. These rogue regime terror tactics!” wrote Nelson Chamisa, who is the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change party. The three women are all members of the MDC.
Cecillia Chimbiri, Hon. Joanna Mamombe & Netsai Marova were found badly beaten & dumped along Bindura Road. They have since been rescued with the help of our lawyers. The Police attended the scene. They're currently in the process of checking into a medical centre for treatment. pic.twitter.com/STzXixghBe
— MDC Zimbabwe (@mdczimbabwe) May 15, 2020
Though Chamisa appeared to be accusing government officials of orchestrating the attack in his tweet, police have denied any involvement. However, politicos have claimed that the country has a long history of using security agents to attack opposition activists and journalists.
Officials outside of Zimbabwe have also voiced their concerns over the alarming incident.
“It is deeply alarming that the state claims that it cannot account for the three activists when they were arrested at a roadblock run by both the police and the military,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East and Southern Africa.
Meanwhile, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on across the world, many African countries have decided to turn to holistic medicine in their fight. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, a number of countries have begun importing a “cure” from Madagascar called Covid-Organics, prompting fear that the virus could spread across the continent due to a false sense of security from the unproven tonic.