Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some very hot tea. The country of Zimbabwe is in an uprising due to arrest and detainment of ‘critics’ including protestors and anti-government opposition’s.
Zimbabwe’s military and police are arresting scores of opposition members and activists after authorities thwarted an anti-government protest last week, according to rights groups.
60 people have been arrested so far in the clampdown, said Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which is providing lawyers for the arrested people. Last week internationally known author Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested for a peaceful protest and spent a night in police cells before being released on bail.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the MDC Alliance, says dozens of its officials have been arrested or have gone into hiding. If state agents do not find the person they want to arrest, they often vandalize their homes and harass their relatives, said opposition spokesman Tendai Biti.
Human rights groups accuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of clamping down on dissent under the guise of enforcing anti-COVID-19 lockdown rules.
Monday, a judge postponed until Thursday a bail hearing for Hopewell Chin’ono, an investigative journalist who has been in jail for two weeks on accusations of mobilizing the foiled protests.
Another investigative journalist, Mdudzuzi Mathuthu, prominent for reporting on alleged government corruption linked to purchases of COVID-19 personal procurement equipment and drugs, is in hiding.
The ongoing arrests are “worrying,” said Dewa Mavhinga, Human Rights Watch director for Southern Africa. He noted that some of the students were arrested for simply walking in their neighborhoods with a Zimbabwean flag or tweeting about Zimbabwe’s deepening economic and political problems.
Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, before being deposed through a coup in 2017. Mnangagwa, who had been Mugabe’s deputy, promised “a flowering of democracy’ when he took over after the coup, but critics say his rule has been rife with abuses.
Organizers said demonstrators originally planned to protest alleged government corruption but instead targeted the ruling political party, using the hashtag #ZANUPFmustgo.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described the planned protest as “an insurrection to overthrow our democratically elected government.”
Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as the economy implodes with inflation of more than 700%, the second highest in the world. Now the coronavirus burdens the health care system. Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister died of COVID-19 earlier this week.
Mnangagwa’s government is accused of using COVID-19 as a cover to clamp down on dissent. The opposition and human rights groups have said they witnessed abuses such as arrests, detentions, beatings and the stalking of activists and ordinary people accused of violating the lockdown ahead of the planned protest.