Mthwakazi activists seek medical attention in SA

Opposition Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) members who were released from prison recently have been shipped for medical attention in South Africa.

Opposition Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) members who were released from prison recently have been shipped for medical attention in South Africa.

The nine former political prisoners were released recently after being sentenced to three years in prison for protesting against the police.

The police had raided MRP leader Mqondisi Moyo’s home intending to arrest him in what supporters suspected to be an assassination attempt.

A Bulawayo magistrate convicted and jailed them before they were later transferred from Khami Prison in Bulawayo to Harare.

The activists complained of the harsh treatment they were subjected to during their incarceration as D Class prisoners.

In an interview with NewsDay, Moyo said the former political prisoners would be transported to South Africa in batches, starting with the four who were at Harare Central Prison.

He said there were risks associated with seeking medical attention in Zimbabwe, especially if one has been labelled a State security threat.

“The MRP9 were labelled security threats to the State, of which seeking medical attention in Zimbabwe is not the best idea as it is also expensive,” Moyo said.

“The medical examination was also necessary considering the prison conditions and risks associated with Zimbabwe prisons, part of which was their clothing management and arrangement on their release.

“There was no medical report or status we received from the Prison Services (Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services), but the findings we have are from their current check-ups.”

Ackim Ndebele, one of the MRP9, said it was unfortunate that they had to seek medical attention outside Zimbabwe due to the deplorable state of local medical facilities.

“I was not feeling well as I had sustained some injuries during my incarceration and the harsh treatment we received after our conviction and sentencing.

“The few days that I have spent in South Africa have reminded me of what we all should strive to achieve, which is a society in which one can freely express themselves and where one does not have to look over their shoulder every minute of their life,” Ndebele said.

Nkosilathi Ncube, another member of MRP9 group, said he was also not feeling well and urgently needed medical examination.

He also complained about the state of the local medical facilities.

“We had to seek medical attention beyond our borders due to the deplorable state of our medical facilities back home,” Ncube said.

“It is also hard to seek medical attention when you were labelled D Class prisoner.”

Meanwhile, Moyo said party members were funding the medical examinations and the process would be determined by the availability of the members and consent of their families.

“Our goal is for all members to be medically examined by the end of April. Tinos Nkomo, who had gone partially blind, will be provided with vision spectacles and will proceed to South Africa to also get a full medically examination,” he said.

“We also had a report concerning Mongameli Mlotshwa, who had to be assisted while inside as he also has some sight problems.”

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