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The CIO who kidnapped Jestina Mukoko beat her with rubber truncheons under her feet and made her kneel on gravel while questioning her, the imprisoned human rights activist has revealed. The assaults, she says, started after she had denied recruiting insurgents and bandits and working with the MDC.
Mukoko also reveals that she was blindfolded as she was moved around so that she could not tell where she was. To this day, she does not have the names of the people who abducted her, although she says she will definitely be able to identify them by sight.
In her statement, Jestina Mukoko says: "I was blindfolded every time I wet to be driven from one place to another. At times, this was to avoid me identifying the places where I was. They also blindfolded me when they handed me over to the police on December 24. I was tortured. At first I was assaulted under my feet with a rubber-like object as I sat on the ground."
She says she was later asked to raise her feet, in a painful pose such as the one you would take for doing stomach exercises. Telling her to hold that pose, her abductors then started hitting her again. "That beating went on for five minutes," she says.
"They took a break after this and continued beating me after a few hours. They were all very drunk and holding bottles of alcoholic beverages throughout the interrogations and beatings."
Mukoko also reveals that she was denied medication that she needs daily for ten days. An army doctor, Dr Chigumira, was then called in after ten days as Jestina was now in a very bad way. He claimed to be "shocked" and Ms Mukoko says, "later I was given medication."
Jestina Mukoko was first taken to army barracks in Harare after her abduction. After questioning there, she was blindfolded and taken to a notorious farm in Goromonzi used by the CIO for their covert operations. It is actually true that the police had no idea where she was throughout this period. Only a small number of people were aware of her whereabouts.
So suspicious is Mugabe of even his own people that she had to moved constantly, under blindfold, so that there was less risk of anyone betraying her whereabouts. As she herself indicates, she was only handed over to the police on December 24, the day that she appeared in court. By then, Mugabe had sworn-in his Attorney General, who had then prepared a case against the people who had disappeared.
It was Augustine Chihuri, the chief of police, who received a call to alert him to the fact that his police should wait at a certain designated point to pick up Mukoko and her fellow abductees, with the specific instruction that she be taken straight to the Magistrates Court in Harare. This was a day after Mukoko had been taken to her parents' home by her abductors, who wanted to search it. That was the first indication the world got that she was still alive (and not being held in a house in Kariba!)