Ishmael Kauzani is a Zimbabwean political & social activist and member of the #Tajamuka movement that led a number of anti-government protests starting 2016.

In December 2016, Kauzani was abducted by suspected Zimbabwean state security agents, assaulted and left for dead in a bushy area in Harare.

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Career as an activist

Kauzani was leader of a migrant rights group in South Africa called Zimbabwe Youth Wing.[1] He also served a s chairman for MDC-T South Africa in Johannesburg district.[2]

Abduction by MDC-T South Africa executives

While he was MDC-T South Africa district chairman for Johannesburg district in 2012, Kauzani was abducted in Johannesburg, South Africa by MDC-T South Africa branch external secretary-general Nhamo Chikowore, organising secretary Shelton Chiyangwa and Johannesburg Youth District chairman Giyani Dube.[2]

Abduction in 2016

In December 2016, a mini bus Kauzani was travelling in was followed by unmarked truck and later ordered to stop. Men in the truck asked for Kauzani to come out of the car and join them. Other passengers in the bus refused to allow his assailants to take him but the men produce guns and fired into the air which caused the bus passengers to scurry for cover. They then took Kauzani away.

Kauzani narrated what happened next:

"They bundled me into their truck and started beating me with logs as they drove to a forest where they further severely assaulted me and left me there. They came back some moments later and found me still there, as I could hardly stand. They ran their car over my legs and took away all my clothes, leaving me naked. After that they then drove me close to a nearby bar where I was assisted by some Good Samaritans to get to this clinic,"[3]

Arrest for allegedly bombing Zanu PF offices

In 2007, he was arrested together with 16 others who include, Paul Madzore on charges of receiving insurgency training in South Africa. The police had initially arrested 32 MDC-T activists but 15 people were released after police dropped those charges due to lack of evidence after they had spent more than 60 days in police custody. Kaunza faced allegations of petrol bombing places in and outside Harare.[4]

In 2013, he appeared in court for allegedly petrol-bombing Zanu-PF offices at Machipisa Shopping Centre and Jongwe Printers.

Prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira alleged that on September 28, 2013, Kauzani, who was in the company of Collins Chisunga and others who were still at large, set fire on the Zanu-PF offices using unknown implements before fleeing. The fire spread and destroyed 20 wooden benches, two tables and other furniture. The fire spread to Grocery World Supermarket next to the offices destroying everything in the shop before the roof collapsed.

On the same day at around 2am, the gang allegedly went on to bomb Jongwe Printers which is situated in the Workington industrial area. Kauzani was arrested after a search conducted at his residence revealed that he had an MDC veteran activists association membership card which was attached to a coded document titled Operation Bravo 11 which contained strategies to destabilise the country. On count 11, it is alleged that they hatched a plan to organise or urge the setting up of a group with a view to overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means.[5]




References

  1. WHEN LIFE AND DEATH ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOTBALL, Refunite, published: June 7, 2010, retrieved: December 4, 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 SA police launch manhunt for 3 top MDC-T executives, Harare24, published: February 13, 2012, retrieved: December 4, 2016
  3. Zim Activist Abducted, Left For Dead, Radio VOP , Published:3 December 2016 , Retrieved: 04 Dec 2016
  4. Lance Guma, 17 MDC Activists Still in Prison Without Trial, 4 Months On, Kubatana, published: July 13, 2007, retrieved: December 4, 2016
  5. Farai Kuvirimirwa,Suspect in court over Zanu-PF offices bombing, Herald, published: November 18, 2013, retrieved: December 4, 2016