HARARE – Comedian Samantha Kureya, popularly known as Gonyeti, was abducted by masked men from her home on Wednesday night, badly beaten and dumped, a media rights group said.
The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) said Gonyeti had been located in Crowbrough North in Harare early Thursday and had been taken to Marimba Police Station.
“Unfortunately, she was severely beaten and the extent of injuries is yet to be ascertained. This unwarranted and illegal abduction is just shameful and totally uncalled for,” MISA said.
Last week, rights groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change reported a spate of abductions by armed men. The victims, opposition activists and human rights defenders, were abducted from their homes as they slept at gunpoint, tortured and then dumped, some barely dressed.
The groups said the abductions were part of a new wave of repression under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose regime appears to have abandoned promises of expanding civil liberties after taking power in 2017 in a military coup.
Gonyeti’s brother reported her missing after Bustop TV, her comedic project, reported that she had been kidnapped on Twitter.
Bustop TV said she had been abducted by “masked and armed men from her house.”
“They beat up her family and broke doors.”
In February, Gonyeti and her fellow comedian Sharon Chideu, known as Maggie, were arrested and fined US$20 each for wearing costumes resembling police uniforms in a skit released in 2016.
Dewa Mavhinga, the Southern Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said Gonyeti’s abduction came just hours after an individual using the name ‘Nomatter Magaya’ threatened to abduct and torture her on Facebook.
In the message shared by Mavhinga on Twitter, the said Magaya posted: “Gonyeti you are the one who is left in the ongoing abductions and tortures. We’re grabbing you soon, we want to grate the extra flesh from your obese body. If you are now a politician, come out into the open and stop trying to make people laugh with nonsense.”
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted that the abduction was “barbaric”.
“The love of power must never overwhelm the power of love,” he said, pointedly blaming state security agents for the abduction.
Source: Zim Live