Zimbabwe union leader found alive after reported abduction

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Peter Magombeyi pictured during an interview earlier this month before the apparent abduction. Photograph: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images
Peter Magombeyi pictured during an interview earlier this month before the apparent abduction.
Photograph: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images

A Zimbabwean union leader who was thought to have been abducted is alive and well, reports say.

Peter Magombeyi had organised a series of strikes over poor pay and working conditions in recent weeks.

Shortly before he disappeared, Dr Magombeyi told AFP news agency he had received threatening calls and messages on his phone. On Saturday, he sent a message alleging he had been kidnapped. As soon as Dr Magombeyi, the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), went missing, doctors staged walkouts marching through the capital Harare.

A government spokesman said the authorities had “no reason” to abduct Zimbabweans.

The exact circumstances of his release are unclear, with Magombeyi unable to give interviewers coherent details of what happened to him. He was found in Nyabira, about 18 miles (30km) from the capital, Harare.

Interviewed by a reporter from Voice of America, Magombeyi sounded confused. He said he had no obvious physical injuries, but some pain. He told VOA he remembered “being in a basement of some sort, being electrocuted at some point”

The ZHDA represents mainly junior doctors at public hospitals.

 

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