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State agents 'harass' NGO leader

by Gibson Nyathi
04 Jun 2019 at 14:53hrs | Views
Local NGO Heal Zimbabwe Director Rashid Mahiya's house was raided by state security agents on Tuesday in what the organisation has described as the perpetuation of a clampdown on civil society organisations by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government.

The incident comes in the wake of Government warnings that NGOs must not involve themselves in politics against the background of reported planned protests in the country.

In a statement, Heal Zimbabwe said the state agents who refused to identify themselves banged Mahiya's door and windows at 5am.

"On 4 June 2019 around 0500 hours, alleged state agents besieged the house of Mahiya, surrounded it for about an hour and continuously knocked on the doors to be allowed entry. The agents refused to identify themselves and were driving two unmarked Nissan vehicles," said the organisation in a statement.

It said this is not the first time state agents have used all sorts of tactics to threaten the security of Mahiya and his family.

"After the January 2019 peaceful protests, members of the security services launched a violent manhunt on Mahiya whom they accused of inciting citizens to demonstrate. While conducting the search, they heavily assaulted his brother and harassed his mother and wife," said the organisation.

It called for government to create a conducive environment for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms as provided for in the constitution and stop criminalising the work of CSOs.

"Heal Zimbabwe notes that this continued trailing and harassment of Mahiya does not only compromise his security and that of his young family, but also violates his fundamental human rights and freedoms that are enshrined in the constitution such as the right to personal security.

This latest threat on the life of Mahiya, come at a time when seven Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) are languishing in prison facing a litany of charges that include effecting regime change," said the organisation.

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Source - Byo24News

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