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Missing NCA activists found in Hwange and Bubi
Tererai Karimakwenda, SW Radio Africa
June 18, 2007

The majority of the 50 activists reported missing by the National Constitutional Assembly on Friday were found over the weekend, after they had been dumped hundreds of miles away from their homes. Tapera Kapuya of the NCA said 18 of them were found in Hwange National Park and 13 along the Masvingo Highway close to Bubi. According to Kapuya, all of them had been heavily assaulted and are receiving medical treatment. Among the group found in Hwange was a female activist, 67 years of age. The victims also included mothers with babies on their backs. Kapuya said no information has been made available by the police as to the whereabouts of the remaining 19. Kapera said of the six they knew to be in police custody, three were released Monday without charge. They also sustained serious injuries after being assaulted in custody and are receiving medical treatment. The NCA now believe only two remain in detention but cannot confirm the number because police are denying them access to legal representation. Those arrested were taken from the Central Business District in Harare on Friday as police violently dispersed activists who were gathering for a demonstration.

Kapuya said the two groups that were found included NCA members, opposition members and activists, as well as ordinary civilians that were targeted for unknown reasons. As the victims reveal more information it turns out that some were picked up randomly by government agents in plain clothes. Others were taken from their homes or places of employment and shopping centres. The NCA representative said the group would not seek any justice from the courts. He added: "The campaign is being perpetrated by the legal system, by those who are supposed to protect the people. It would be foolhardy to look for recourse from these same people." Kapuya said the government was trying to silence reform and to silence democratic forces. He stressed that the group would continue to exert as much pressure as they can to push for a new constitution.

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