We Will Continue To Arrest Rights Activists – Mangwana
THE government will continue arresting human rights for violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations, Nick Mangwana, the Information Ministry secretary has warned.
In the past few weeks, Zimbabwe has seen an increase in the arrest of several activists, lawyers, journalists, and members of the MDC Alliance on various charges.
“Human rights activists or so-called, are not above the law. Lawyers are not above the law, permanent secretaries are not above the law. Anyone who breaks the law has to face their day in court. And this is what’s happening,” Mangwana told South Africa’s eNCA.
Zimbabwe is under an indefinite Level 2 lockdown, with over 1 400 Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths.
Among those recently arrested are 22-year-old pro-democracy campaigner, Namatai Kwekweza, and two of her colleagues, Youngerson Matete and Prince Gora.
They were taken in after protesting against a new constitutional amendment bill at Parliament.
MDC youth leader Godfrey Kurauone has been remanded prison in Masvingo, for allegedly insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In Harare, two other journalists, Frank Chikowore and Samuel Takawira are on trial for interviewing MDC Alliance Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe who had been abducted, tortured, and was admitted in hospital. Also hospitalised with her were MDC Alliance female youth leader, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri.
On their discharge from the hospital, the three activists were arrested for lodging a false claim with the police that they were abducted, tortured, and sexually abused. They spent weeks in remand prison before being granted bail and the matter is before the courts.
However, in the same interview, the MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti said the government was on a rampage cracking down on government critics.
“Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is on a rampage cracking down on government critics. But it is not just the MDC Alliance. It also even lawyers. The country’s top advocates – Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Advocate (Tawanda) Zhuwarara, and other lawyers are also facing incarceration,” he said.
“The top leadership of the party (MDC Alliance) even myself, we are all facing incarceration in one form of the other. So this is a rogue regime.”