Zimbabwean state secret service agents allegedly assaulted, tortured and detained human rights activist Jestina Mukoko in solitary confinement for 19 days to coerce her to admit recruiting youths for military training in Botswana.
She was charged with trying to recruit people to travel to a Botswana military camp to receive training that would aid the overthrow of President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
The Mugabe regime last year claimed that the opposition MDC was training military insurgents in Botswana.
To support their story – distributed to SADC Heads of State, the Mugabe administration came up with a 27 page dossier with colour photographs of young trainees in a camp allegedly in Botswana.
State Agents allegedly abducted more than 40 Zimbabwean civilians on allegations of being part of the insurgency and in three cases produced film of the alleged insurgents confessing that they had participated in this training after being recruited in Zimbabwe by MDC agents.
In an affidavit lodged with the High Court last week narrating events that took place after Mukoko was abducted in the early hours of December 3 from her Norton home, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) director said her captors wanted to link her to the alleged MDC training camp in Botswana.
Minister of State for National Security, Didymus Mutasa, has since admitted in the High Court that Mukoko was in the custody of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
In the damning affidavit, Mukoko claimed she was kidnapped by six men and a woman who did not identify themselves and was denied access to her spectacles and prevented from dressing.
“I was not wearing anything other than a night dress,” she said. “I had no undergarments and other personal and medical requirements.”
The former television news anchor alleged that she was forced by the state spies into a Mazda Familia vehicle and ordered to lie low on the seat of the car.