ZIMBABWE – A political activist who was allegedly abducted by members of the fear-inducing Central Intelligence Organisation in Gwanda last week, has been located.
Elliot Shelton, was reportedly picked up at Pakama Business Centre last Wednesday and bundled into one of two white pick-up trucks with no number plates.
Efforts to locate him had yielded no positive results until he reappeared this weekend.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo Monday, Bekezela Fuzwayo, chairperson of the Restoration of Human Rights Matabeleland South Chapter, who spoke on his behalf said contrary to media reports, Shelton was released the same day he was abducted.
“We have been following the case ever since he was abducted. We have managed to locate him and he has been to a safe place somewhere in this country.
“We have since forwarded the matter to the Lawyers for Human Rights who are currently siezed with it,” said Fuzwayo.
Narrating Shelton`s ordeal, Fuzwayo said he was picked up in broad day light by a group of about 12 men who took him to the Central Intelligence Organisation Gwanda offices.
“He said upon reaching the offices he was interrogated and subjected to torture and assaulted all over the body while being handcuffed. Shelton had long dreadlocks but he said they were violently cut off using a knife.
“Contrary to media reports, he was not detained over night or for any number of days. They picked him up at around 1pm and he was dumped in the Central Business of Gwanda later that day,” he added.
However, soon after being dropped off he wandered off and found sanctuary in the nearby rural settlements where he sought refuge.
“It was more of a result of trauma than anything that made him hide, while people were frantically trying to find him,” said Fuzwayo.
He added that they are trying to get him checked by medical practitioners as he is not feeling well and has a running stomach after he was made to drink an unknown chemical.
Fuzwayo also said the activist was traumatised and will have to undergo counselling as he has become antiscocial and does not want people around him.
Tendai Biti`s People`s Democratic Party raised alarm on Shelton`s abduction, whom they identified as their party`s Matabeleland South provincial secretary for security and demanded his immediate release.
As the PDP, we demand that Shelton’s abductors must release him to his family and we will make all efforts to secure his location and safe release, the party said in a statement last week.
Zimbabwe cannot continue to feign being a democracy yet its citizens who dare criticize the rotten ZANU PF leadership are not guaranteed of safety.
His disapperance jolted activists into action, fearing he might disappear like journalist-cum-activist, Itai Dzamara, who went missing in Harare on March 9, 2015, after he was picked up by unknown assailants at a barbershop in Glen View.
Political parties, human rights organisations have blamed the Zanu PF government for Dzamara`s disappearance.