24 March 2016

Zimbabwe: Mukoko Still Battles Trauma After Abduction, Torture

HUMAN rights activist, Jestina Mukoko, has said she still struggles with the trauma from her 2008 abduction and torture by suspected State agents.

Responding to questions raised by journalists at a breakfast meeting her organisation held in Harare Thursday, Mukoko said almost eight years after her abduction she is failing to contain trauma.

The meeting also coincided with the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

"The psychological trauma, you carry with you for years. I am one testimony that will tell you that," she said.

"You cannot, at times you, even live with people in your family. You are so afraid when you hear sounds; you hear a key turning (in the door) and it makes you go mad.

"It has taken me years for me to be able to say I think I am getting somewhere. Now I get a lot of people who say you are looking good, I think it is because I have been able to deal with the anger and the pain that I harboured inside."

She added: "That anger and pain was not going to the people that I thought it was going to, it was coming back to me."

Mukoko, who is the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was abducted by six unknown men and a woman on December 3, 2008 at her Norton home.

She spent 21 days in the wilderness, only to reappear after an outcry by the public. During the abduction she was tortured and denied her access to her medication.

Mukoko was abducted for documenting human rights violations perpetrated by Zanu PF on opposition MDC-T members in the run-up to the June 29 2008 presidential run-off elections.

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