Zimbabwean Gov’t begins Crackdown on Opposition Figures & Journalists ahead of Planned Massive Public Protests
Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are bracing up for a showdown with government forces on July 31 when they take to the streets nationwide to protest bad governance by the current regime. The people are accusing the government of Emerson Mnangagwa for making corruption endemic in the country, further deepening poverty and misery.
In the buildup to the massive street demonstrations, the government is reportedly in panic mode. It has started a crackdown on opposition and opinion leaders, arresting the leader of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe, Jacob Ngarivhume and journalist Hopewell Chin'ono.
Zimbabweans under the guidance and leadership of Transform Zimbabwe are preparing to show their anger against policies that are not benefiting the masses, some concerned citizens told Timescape.
Activists, pressure groups and opposition political parties have been pushing for the event which is highly anticipated by citizens who are suffering with many living in abject poverty.
Placed under the hashtags: #ShutdownZimbabwe #ZanuPFMustGo, #PeoplePower, the event has touched a raw nerve of the state machinations who are now running scared and arresting activists, reports say.
Monday July 20, the regime orchestrated a dramatic arrest of Chino'no who has been exposing corruption scandals by government officials including “Covidgate” which led to the arrest of former Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo.
The award-winning Journalist managed to take a short video of his arrest by the state agents who gained entry by smashing through his house in Chisipite surburb in Harare. Voices could be heard ordering Chin'ono to put his phone away. For a few hours no one knew where they had taken him.
However, the Police have since said Chin'ono and Ngarivhunwe were in their custody and would be charged with incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.
The law enforcement agents alleged that Chin’ono, who is represented by Beatrice Mtetwa, Gift Mtisi and Douglas Coltart of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), posted various messages on his Twitter account using the handle @daddyhope between May 2020 and July 2020 calling upon Zimbabweans across the country to engage in acts of public violence against the government on July 31, 2020.
They said by posting such messages, Chin’ono intended to disturb the peace, security, or order of the public. The law enforcement agents also raided Chin’ono’s residence Monday evening, and by the time of publishing this article, they were still searching his office for gadgets including laptops and mobile phones.
Ngarivhume and Chin’ono are expected to appear in court. Meanwhile there has been a public outcry locally and internationally over the arrests. The European Union Office in Zimbabwe and the US Embassy in Harare have demanded the release of the two.