Leading Zimbabwe’s Human rights activist Jestina Mukoko who was freed Monday on is US$600 bail says she is worried about her health. She had spent three months to the day in custody following her abduction on December 3, 2009.
Mukoko who was being detained in the Avenues Hospital forced a smile as she spoke about of her freedom. Dressed in hospital garb, Mukoko said she was delighted to receive her freedom at last.
“I am free now and I must concentrate on my health,” said Mukoko who looks emaciated and unwell. “The time will come for me to comment to the media. I am still being attended to by the doctors and I might be in here for some weeks to come.”
Mukoko is to report to Norton Police Station twice a week and remain at her Norton house until the court proceedings are finalised.
She described her time in prison as painful but said she had no hard feelings against any of the wardens and officials who looked after her. “It’s good to be free, it has been painful,” she said.
Asked about her abduction from her Norton home last December, she said, “I don’t want to talk about that now.”
One of Mukoko’s brothers, Cosmos, said he was relieved that his sister had regained her freedom. He said, “I am happy that she is out and I hope she recovers quickly so that she can come home.”
She was the most prominent among 31 jailed activists whose detention had raised concerns about the success of Zimbabwe’s new unity government with long-time President Robert Mugabe and new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai last week told reporters he and Mugabe had agreed bail for detainees. The release of the activists could be a sign Mugabe may be trying to avoid confrontation with Tsvangirai in the early days of a unity government brokered by regional states.
Zimbabwean rights groups say MDC activists were tortured during detention.