Riot police in Bulawayo. Tensions are running high in Zimbabwe as people protest against austerity. Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA
The same vehicle has reportedly been involved in many of the 10 similar incidents six in Harare and four in Bulawayo reported to human rights activists in the last week.
Tensions are running high in Zimbabwe. Last week,
police broke up an opposition rally in Harare, the capital, with baton charges and teargas. The protest, against ongoing austerity measures aimed at staving off economic collapse, had been banned by authorities.
Zimbabwe riot police use teargas and batons to clear protesters – video
There were reports on Thursday night that a senior official from the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party, had been detained for organising illegal demonstrations. Two further MDC protests in provincial cities were banned earlier this week.
Kureya said she was driven by her abductors to an unknown place.
They started saying: You mock the government and we have been monitoring you. They told me to lie down and instructed me to start rolling on the ground. They would instruct me to roll from either side and each time I did, I would get beaten. They started stomping on my back, the 33-year-old said.
The men made the her perform army drills and ordered her to drink water contaminated with raw sewage, before asking questions about her partner, the offices of the TV company she works for and her colleagues. They then told her to strip and smashed her phone with an AK-47 assault rifle.
Earlier this year, Kureya was one of two comedians arrested for public nuisance after appearing in a comic sketch wearing a police uniform.
They said: If you report this case, we will put a bullet in your mothers skull. We are not safe in this country, its scary. If men like that come and abduct a woman like me with guns, its scary, she said on Thursday, speaking from a secret location where she is receiving medical care.
Relatives were also assaulted during the abduction, with beatings taking place in front of children.
Zimbabwe have faced criticism from the EU, US and UK over the crackdown on protests and the reports of abuses.
Only by addressing concretely [and] rapidly these human rights violations will the government of Zimbabwe give credibility to its commitments to address longstanding governance challenges,
said Andrew Stephenson, the British minister for Africa.
Mnangagwa has responded to the criticism by underlining the importance of the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
The rule of law observance is not needed for the purposes of pleasing other countries, we need it because it is proper for ourselves The [current government] has brought about enhanced democratic space, it is for the good of our people. The few who abuse the democratic space, the rule of law will apply, the president told a civil society meeting.
Energy Mutodi, the deputy information minister,
said Kureya had done a comedy on abductions.
We will not be fooled, he said.
The government is trying to mend relations with the west after decades of isolation over human rights abuses under Robert Mugabe,
who was ousted in a military-led coup in 2017.
won contested elections last year with a pledge to revive the countrys economy. But many Zimbabweans say things have gone from bad to worse with shortages of bread, fuel and medicines. Inflation is running at triple figures.
According to the UN, about 5 million Zimbabweans, or a third of the population, need food aid.
The country is crippled by massive debts incurred during Mugabes rule and needs a multibillion-dollar bailout to prevent economic collapse. However, the continuing repression and a lack of tangible political reform means there is little chance of international institutions offering major aid packages.
Though most of the several hundred people detained during unrest in January have been released, 21 activists, opposition leaders and trade unionists are facing subversion charges that could lead to lengthy sentences.