Mahere conviction evidence of increasing attacks on democratic forces: Chamisa
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa said the conviction of the party’s national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere was “evidence of the increasing attacks on democratic forces in Zimbabwe”.
Mahere was yesterday convicted in a case where she was accused of posting a video alleging that a police officer had killed a baby. The opposition top official was found guilty of communicating a falsehood prejudicial to the state and law enforcement.
The case emanated from a tweet Mahere posted on Twitter, a viral video of a woman tussling with a police officer with a motionless baby in her hands.
She then claimed that the police officer struck the mother with a baton stick while the baby was strapped on her back resulting in the minor’s death. The child was, however, found to be alive, leading to Mahere’s arrest.
Chamisa, however, believes that Mahere’s conviction was an attack on democracy. He also cited the detention, without trial, of CCC MP Job Sikhala as “unjust”.
“The malicious conviction of Champion Fadzayi Mahere is evidence of the increasing attacks on democratic forces in Zimbabwe. We also have our Change Champion Job Sikhala unjustly incarcerated.
“The conviction is a stark reminder that Zimbabwe needs fixing. We stand against this persecution and weaponization of the law. This, we must and will end,” he said.
National President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe Obert Masaraure also condemned the conviction of Mahere and pledged for his solidarity.
“I stand in Solidarity with Fadzayi Mahere. She is being persecuted for being the voice of the vulnerable. State should strive to strengthen the protection of the weak not to weaken the pillars of support for vulnerable groups. We demand a just society! Fadzayi is not a criminal,” he said.
CCC interim Vice President Tendai Biti also said the “conviction of our spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere is a new low for the country. We submit that the law’s sole source of legitimacy is impartiality and autonomy. Judicial independence must be defended at any cost for it is the foundation of all functional States.”
Former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also threw her weight behind Mahere.
“Women around the world stand in solidarity with Fadzayi Mahere, a tireless advocate for human rights, as she awaits sentencing in Zimbabwe. We will be watching in hope that the justice system is not used as a tool to silence critics,” she posted on her official Twitter handle.