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Activists in Zimbabwe denounce ‘rampant rights violations’

Campaigners in Zimbabwe said Wednesday they feared a rise in alleged state-sponsored abductions of opposition activists as the country experiences prolonged unrest.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition — an umbrella body of civic society organizations — pointed the finger of blame at President Robert Mugabe for what it described as “rampant rights violations being perpetrated by state security agents and ZANU-PF militia across the country”.

Wednesday’s claims follow the abduction of the leader of the Harare Vendors’ Association, Kudakwashe Kumbakunje, on Tuesday night by suspected state security agents. Kumbakunje was later found, badly injured.

On Sept. 17 at least 20 opposition activists were abducted from various places in the capital Harare during widespread protests organized by 18 opposition parties under National Electoral Reform Agenda banner. They were later found either in police custody or dumped in remote areas.

Human rights organizations also blame Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party for the disappearance and death of nearly 400 Movement for Democratic Change activists during a violent presidential run-off in 2008.

Mugabe has previously denied allegations of abductions leveled against the state and his supporters.