Abducted Pastor Berejena released unharmed
By Violet Gonda
27 May 2009
On Tuesday SW Radio Africa received information from an MDC official, stating that another person had been abducted by unknown assailants. The official said Pastor Berejena, who has been a “close spiritual friend of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and has also been a spiritual strength to so many of the victims of political violence over the past 14 months,” was abducted on Monday afternoon by suspected CIO operatives.
Marondera Central MP Ian Kay, a friend of the Pastor, said Berejena was located on Wednesday morning and is now in a safe place. “The details are very vague but we got a message that Pastor Berejena was picked up by unknown people driving a white Sunny (vehicle) and we didn’t know his whereabouts. That’s when we started phoning around, sending out emails to try and find out where he was. I got another SMS this afternoon to say that he had been found and ‘released’ was the word that was used and that he was safe but he has gone to ground.”
It is believed the Pastor was picked up from his home in Harare on Monday and taken to an unknown location by his assailants. He was not harmed.
Not much information was available as to why he had been abducted, but those close to him said this is not the first time that he has been harassed and he has been under constant surveillance by unknown people who have been following him for a long time now.
We could not get a comment from the police or from the Pastor but it is believed he is being victimised for sourcing funds to help MDC victims of violence. Some sources said his abductors were trying to find out where he got the money from.
MDC activists say he has been helping victims of political violence for a long time now, after so many were brutalised at the time of the controversial elections of last year. Many victims of this violence have gone without any help and Pastor Berejena was one of the few who has been trying to help some of them.
One MDC activist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said many MDC activists who helped the party and became victims of the Mugabe regime, are now being neglected by their own party. The activist said the situation has worsened since the formation of the unity government, as not much effort is being made by the MDC to help these victims of political violence.
An MDC official said: “While it is a sad reality that people are falling through the cracks, there is no money to help people on a large scale. Once you give one person a little you have to help all at the same level. And that translates into a lot of money and a lot of manpower. There is also no surveillance to prevent mismanagement and corruption. The MDC is not set up to meet this challenge neither is ZPF, as seen with how the disability funds were badly managed by the regime.”