Security fears as opposition Mthwakazi activists in ‘suspicious’ prison transfers

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has reportedly transferred Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) activists from Khami Maximum Prison to Chikurubi and Gwanda Prisons, under unclear circumstances.

In June this year, Bulawayo Magistrate Sangster Tawengwa sentenced seven members of the party to 33 months in prison, while the other two were jailed 36 months.

The nine activists were facing charges of public violence after storming Bulawayo Central Police Station protesting over the foiled abduction of party leader, Mqondisi Moyo, by state security agents last year.

In an interview, Moyo confirmed the activists’ transfers to Harare and Gwanda.

“Eight of our members who were incarcerated at Khami Prison have been transferred to Chikurubi, while Maxwell Nkosi was transferred to Gwanda,” said Moyo.

“We feel these transfers are meant to intimidate and harass the activists. We are also fearing for their safety as they might be harmed.”

The MRP president said following the transfer, it would be difficult for the party and family members to visit the convicts in Harare.

“We used to visit our colleagues at least twice every week with food and other toiletries, but now it will be very costly to visit them in Harare,” he said.

The party’s lawyers are this week set to engage Khami officials over the matter.

“We have engaged our lawyers because the activists’s rights have been clearly infringed. We want the prisons officials to furnish us with the reasons why our colleagues were transferred to Harare because we understand they are the only ones who were transferred,” said Moyo.

He also confirmed that the party’s lawyers have already approached the High Court challenging both their conviction and sentence.