Zimbabwean comedian 'abducted and beaten up'
A popular comedian in Zimbabwe who has been critical of the police and government in her skits, was abducted and beaten up overnight, colleagues and rights activists say.
Samantha Kureya, known by her stage name "Gonyeti" on the comedy show Bustop TV, was taken from her home on Wednesday night by armed gunmen, according to the Zimbabwe branch of the Media Institute of Southern Africa. She has since been found and is at a police station in the capital, Harare, with her brother.
Fellow comedian Comrade Fatso tweeted: "They cannot silence the people’s laughter.” Bustop TV has recently been doing sketches about the police banning planned opposition demonstrations to protest against the government's handling of the economy.
Her abduction comes in the wake of at least six civil society and opposition members were allegedly abducted and tortured ahead of the first planned protest that supposed to be held last Friday. The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum says those abducted before the protests were accused of mobilising people to demonstrate.
Human rights groups blame state agents for their disappearance, but the authorities have denied their involvement. The Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader tweeted about Gonyeti’s abduction, saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa should do more to protect Zimbabweans.