By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
South Africa’s opposition “One SA Movement” leader Mmusi Maimane has lobbied President Cyril Ramaphosa to pressure Emmerson Mnangagwa to release political prisoners in Zimbabwe.
Ramaphosa last month sent a special envoy to Zimbabwe to assess the socio-political situation in the country following reports of massive human rights violations orchestrated by Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration.
Maimane has called the South African government to intervene in Zimbabwe amid the arrest of journalists and government critics.
“We cannot be soft on the Zimbabwean issue @CyrilRamaphosa, any delegation must call for the release of journalists and political activists who have been detained on spurious charges. The civil and political rights of citizens must be respected. Abductions must end,” Maimane said.
Last month investigative Hopewell Chin’ono was arrested and charged for allegedly inciting violence in connection with 31st July protests.
He 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. Chin’ono was also arrested along with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume and MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala.
They are all charged with inciting violence in connection with 31st July protests against corruption.
They are being detained at the country’s largest and most notorious jail, the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.