British Minister Condemns Zimbabwe Activists’ Harassment

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By Staff Reporter

BRITISH minister for Africa, James Duddridge has voiced condemnation on the alleged continued harassment of opposition activists by the state.

This comes in the wake of the continued incarceration of MDC Alliance members Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri.

The MDC pair was denied bail in a matter in which it is being accused of breaching Covid-19 regulations after holding a press conference at the Harare Magistrates’ Court recently.

The activists had appealed to the High Court for bail pending trial.

However, Justice Chitapi threw out the appeal last Thursday.

Said Duddridge using Twitter, “Bail denied again for Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri in Zimbabwe. I call upon Zimbabwe’s authorities to ensure all are treated equally under the law and show action on the government’s commitment to reform. Harassment of political opponents needs to end.”

The call by Duddridge comes a day after the European Union also said it was concerned by the continued incarceration of the pair while condemning the alleged selective application of the law in the activists’ case.

Mamombe and Chimbiri have been in pre-trial detention for three weeks now after they were arrested for being part of a press conference in Harare.

The two have pleaded innocent.

Mamombe, a party legislator, and Chimbiri allegedly protested at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts calling for the release from remand of fellow party activist, Makomborero Haruzivishe.

Haruzivishe was allegedly arrested at gun point by suspected state security agents who were dressed in civilian attire.

The court was told that the men also attempted to kidnap him, but he screamed for help prompting them to divert their route and drop the activist at Harare Central Police station.

He was arrested after several arrest warrants were issued against him for defaulting court.

Haruzivishe is accused of kidnapping Impala Car Rental workers accusing them of having a hand in the abduction of a journalism student, Tawanda Muchehiwa last year.