By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Former United States First Lady, Hillary Clinton, who also served as Secretary of State, has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration to release all political prisoners.
“I’m calling for the government of Zimbabwe to release all political prisoners, including Godfrey Kurauone, who represent the country’s future. Justice demands it,” Clinton said Twitter.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing massive human rights violations perpetrated by Mnangagwa’s regime which is battling an economic crisis partly blamed on corruption and mismanagement
Over 60 people have been arrested and some of them brutalized by suspected state security agents following the 31st July anti-corruption protests.
Last month, investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who played a key role in exposing Mnangagwa, his son Collins and his wife Auxilia in massive allegations of corruption, the US$60m Drax Covidgate scandal.
The fallout saw the arrest and dismissal of former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo. But Chin’ono was also arrested together with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
They were charged for inciting violence, in connection with 31st July protests against corruption.
They are being detained at the country’s largest and notorious jail, the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
MDC Alliance national youth organiser, Godfrey Kurauone was recently arrested and charged with undermining President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s authority.
All of them have been denied bail in an average of two applications to the county’s courts.
On Tuesday, top lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa claimed Mnangagwa’s administration was instituting persecution of human rights lawyers after the Magistrate Court banned her from representing incarcerated journalist Chin’ono.
On 31st July 2020, the Zimbabwean police arrested scores of people who tried to hold peaceful demonstrations.
Political activists took to social media to expose state sponsored arrests, rape, torture and abductions.
A hashtag, #ZimbabweanLivesMatter has been trending forcing advocacy networks, celebrities and politicians in Zimbabwe, South Africa and across the world to take information on rights abuses in Zimbabwe and mount pressure on Mnangagwa’s government to act.
Responding to Clinton’s statement, Zanu PF said she was lying.
“On sight of this tweet, our justice system must throw our constitution away and abandon due process simply because you have said so?
“What form of democracy is this? We implore you as a leader to comment on issues that you have knowledge over and not hearsay!” Zanu PF said on its official twitter handle.
When Mnangagwa took over power from late former president Robert Mugabe through a military coup in November 2017, he promised economic recovery based on respect for human rights and subsequent removal of sanctions.
Three years down the line, the international community is condemning his regime for failing to respect human rights. Nehanda Radio