Car Rental Company Linked To Zimbabwe’s AbductionsFeatured, Latest News, News Around Africa, South Africa, Southern Africa Saturday, August 29th, 2020
By Daniel Jones, Harare
(AFRICAN EXAMINER)-A car rental company in Zimbabwe has been dragged into the messy abductions after one of its vehicles was caught on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) kidnapping one of the victims.
A video showing a white Ford Ranger that was used to carry one of the victims of the abductions Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo went viral recently.
Investigations by a local online publication, ZimLive traced the vehicle to its owner at a satellite town outside Harare who confirmed he had hired it out to Impala Car Rental.
Impala Car Rental is Zimbabwean company offering car hire services especially to tourists on self-drives, chauffer driven and shuttles countrywide.
Muchehiwa aged 22 is a second year Media and Society Studies student at Midlands State University and nephew to ZimLive Editor Mduduzi Mathuthu and was abducted on July 30, on accusation of being involved in planning the anti-government protests that were set for July 31.
The suspected abductors also raided and searched Mathuthu’s house and took his two other relatives who were later released from Bulawayo police station.
Muchehiwa was allegedly taken to an unknown place where he was tortured and dumped on August 1 after a High Court gave police 72 hours to produce him.
A video of the incident was shared with ZimLive by some alert informers thereby linking the vehicle to Impala Car Rental in Harare.
The company’s chief executive Thompson Dondo admitted the car was rented from his company.
He however said the company will release details of the person who hired the vehicle to police.
“Following a social media video clip which implicates one of our rental vehicles (Registration No, AES 2433) in an alleged abduction for Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo, Impala Car Rental would like to advise all our valued stakeholders that we are really concerned with the matter.
“As a service provider we are limited in controlling where and how our vehicles will be used because clients are not obliged to disclose their vehicle hiring purposes.
“It is very possible that some clients may use our vehicles for criminal activities without our knowledge and it is not our intention to cover up for such criminals.
“As Impala Car Rental we stand obligated to cooperate with any investigations by the law enforcement agents into this matter so that Tawanda Muchehiwa gets justice,” said Dondo in a statement on Saturday.
He said despite the incident, his company remains committed to providing the best service.
The vehicle was returned to the company on August and the owner reportedly said it had damaged tyres and faulty suspension.
The President Mnangagwa led Zanu-PF government has remained adamant that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe following a series of abductions on civic activists, opposition politicians and journalists, most of whom are in remand after all being denied bail by the courts.
The government denies being involved in the abductions.
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