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MDC Alliance seeks 'political prisoners' recognition for jailed activists

by Staff reporter
07 Apr 2021 at 18:22hrs | Views
The MDC Alliance on Wednesday called on international human rights organisations to recognise nine of its jailed activists as "political prisoners" while urging the United Nations to launch an urgent investigation into the abduction and torture of three female activists by state security agents.

MDC Alliance secretary for welfare Maureen Kademaunga, in a statement, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa's regime had "intensified its clampdown on dissent and abuse of the courts to punish" his critics.

Kademunga's statement came as a court sentenced MDC Alliance activist Makomborero Haruzivishe to 36 months in jail, although part of the sentence was conditionally suspended leaving 14 months effective.

"Given his bad record of human rights abuses, Mnangagwa has no capacity or willingness to preside over a competent system that can effectively deliver justice and protect rights," Kademunga said.

The MDC Alliance called on international rights bodies to "recognise the status of political prisoner for Makomborero Haruzivishe, Cecilia Chimbiri, Joana Mamombe, Tinashe Bwanaisa, Rakeshi Marufu, Collin Paison, Tafara Mafunde, Farai Chidziva and Trust Nyamado."

Further, the MDC Alliance urged the United Nations to "launch a rather urgent, thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the abduction and torture of Chimbiri, Mamombe and Netsai Marova" in May last year. The Zimbabwe government has charged the three women with faking their abduction, but the MDC Alliance says the incident remains an "outstanding act of criminal injustice which has also become the source of the repeated arbitrary imprisonment and harassment of the three."

"We make an urgent call on the government of Zimbabwe for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and the nullification of their charges which are clearly punitive measures against their peaceful exercise of their human rights," said Kademunga.

The prison sentence for Haruzivishe and pending charges against dozens of activists has led to accusations that the government is persecuting the opposition, a charge the authorities deny.

Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis in more than a decade is fuelling anger against Mnangagwa, who took over from the late Robert Mugabe after a coup in November 2017 promising to revive the economy and greater freedoms for citizens.

Source - zimlive