By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime of weaponizing Covid-19 against his opponents after party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere tested positive for Covid-19 two days after being released from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Mahere, who is facing charges of communicating falsehoods, was freed on Monday on Z$ 10 000 bail by regional magistrate Trynos Utahwashe.
She is jointly charged with journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and MDC Alliance vice chairman Job Sikhala who have since been denied bail by the lower court.
The two will be approaching the High Court in Harare to apply for bail.
After spending seven days of “pre-trial incarceration” at Chikurubi, Mahere on Wednesday confirmed that she had contracted the deadly coronavirus disease.
“Despite having been in an isolation cell and the quarantine section at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, I have tested positive for COVID-19, following seven days of pre-trial incarceration,” Mahere wrote.
In a series of Twitter posts, Chamisa rebuked the government for “politicising” the pandemic alleging that the “unjust and prolonged detention” of Chin’ono, Sikhala and student Alan Moyo was meant to expose them to the deadly coronavirus disease.
“Earlier today I spoke to Fadzayi Mahere who briefed me of the unsanitary conditions in our jails & her own positive Covid-19 test after her unjust detention. Her situation exemplifies the despicable tactics being used by the regime to weaponise this pandemic against opponents,” Chamisa said.
“The unjust & prolonged detention of vocal citizens such as Job Sikhala, Hopewell Chin’ono and student Allan Moyo exposes them to unnecessary risk and further reveals the malicious intent of this regime in jailing opponents through unconstitutional provisions & repressive laws.
“The true tragedy of such actions is the failure of the regime to recognize that Covid-19 has no political affiliation. It continues to affect countless citizens across the country without discretion and only sincere, well-informed and sensible leadership will help slow the spread.
“Now is not the time for cheap politicking and irresponsible actions but rather an opportunity to ensure that the spotlight being cast on our public health institutions and prisons results in deliberate corrective action.
“I implore all citizens to make it their duty to protect themselves and each other by adhering to guidelines as we work together to fight Covid-19. Every Covid-19 statistic is a human life,” Chamisa added.
On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo succumbed to the deadly coronavirus disease.
Suspended Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume Monday failed to come to court because he was self isolating following information that three inmates he shared a cell with succumbed to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, as Covid-19 is ravaging prison cells, Sikhala and Chin’ono are locked up there over trumped up charges of allegations communicating falsehoods.
A student and opposition official, Alan Moyo is also locked up (over 45 days) at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison over incitement charges.
As of Wednesday morning, Zimbabwe recorded 29,458 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 18,848 recoveries and 877 deaths. Nehanda Radio