I have mentioned meeting 2 of Mugabe’s Militia face to face who told me they wanted to “join the war”. Here is a news story from 2003, which describes some of these activities:
Three Zimbabwean women were abducted at gunpoint in Johannesburg and brutally assaulted by suspected agents of the Zimbabwe government who tried to smuggle them back to Zimbabwe this week.
The incident comes amid claims that President Robert Mugabe has now deployed his notorious youth militia known as Green Bombers – who have been attacking government opponents in Zimbabwe – to target his opponents in South Africa as well.
The three women, who participated in a well-attended march against Mugabe in Johannesburg on Human Rights Day last week, said they suffered a night of terror and sexual harassment before they were dumped in the border town of Musina after their abductors were stopped by SA border officials.
Amanda Dube, Norma Sibanda and Nozipo Moyo said two of their five abductors had also participated in the Human Rights Day march organised by the Concerned Zimbabwean Citizens Abroad (CZCA). The abductors held posters denouncing Mugabe’s abuses but the women suspect they were in fact agents who had come to spy on the opposition marchers.
After the march ended, the abductors followed the three women back to their flat in Hillbrow to establish where they lived.
On Wednesday, they came back and abducted the women at gunpoint and forced them into two Pajero 4×4 vehicles with Zimbabwean number plates and a small Astra.
The three said they were later handcuffed and blindfolded in the vehicles after they refused to show their abductors the homes of CZCA leaders who had organised the protest march. The women said the abductors made it clear they would suffer the consequences of participating in anti-Mugabe activities.
“As we drove throughout the night, we stopped at bushy areas and were beaten heavily with clinched fists and electric rubber wires… At times I travelled in the boot of the small car,” said Dube, who claimed they had been sexually molested.
The women said they only avoided being smuggled into Zimbabwe because the vehicles were stopped at a police roadblock in Musina and South African police officers discovered them and asked their abductors why they were hiding the three in the vehicles.
A police official in Musina who was at the scene but refused to have his name used, corroborated the womens’ story, saying they later showed bruises on their bodies to prove they had been badly beaten.
CZCA leader Jay Jay Sibanda said he had no doubt the people were Mugabe’s agents on a mission to harass opponents in SA.
He had received threatening phone calls from people urging him to stop organising anti-Mugabe protests, he said.
“Our protests are meant to raise awareness of the problems in Zimbabwe among South Africans… We are not a political party.”
The incident happened barely a week after Zimbabwe cricketer Henry Olonga went into hiding in South Africa claiming that Mugabe’s government had deployed its spy agents to arrest him. The Zanu-PF has established a branch in Hillbrow.
Nathan Shamuyarira, the Zanu-PF spokesperson, has denied that either Zanu-PF or the government had deployed agents in SA. – Independent Foreign Service