Sunday, 4 April 2021

MAKOMBORERO COVICTION SPARKS CONTROVERSY

THE opposition MDC Alliance and political analysts say the conviction of activist Makomborero Haruzivishe last week is a strategy to silence critics and instil fear ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.

Haruzivishe, a strong critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, was convicted on charges of inciting public violence and will be sentenced on Tuesday.

MDC Alliance youth assembly leader Obey Sithole said the conviction was a “testimony of judicial capture and weaponisation of justice”,

“We view his conviction as a direct insult to the very existence of law, it is a clear testimony of judicial capture and weaponisation of justice wherein the law is constantly abused by the regime to suppress any voices of dissent,” Sithole said.

“The conviction absolutely has nothing to do with the interpretation of law, but a well-coordinated architecture of mutilating alternative voices of all those, who have been courageous to speak and act against the regime’s blatant failures especially at a time like this where it is not fashionable to do so given the perpetual harsh political environment.”

He said the Zanu PF government was trying to scare young people from speaking out. “By convicting Mako, the regime is certainly trying to scare away the young generation from participating in political processes,” Sithole said.

“However, these acts of evil will not deter us from soldiering on towards the desired destination of a new Zimbabwe respectful of all fundamental rights and freedoms.”

MDC Alliance youths and students under the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) banner have been leading protests against government over abductions including that of Midlands State University scholar Tawanda Muchehiwa who was abducted by suspected state security agents ahead of the planned July 31, 2020 protests against corruption.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere said Haruzivishe was targeted for being vocal against the Mnangagwa administration.

“He is a well-known activist, who is being targeted because he is vocal about the poverty, injustice and corruption faced by the citizens and because he is a member of the MDC Alliance,” Mahere said.

Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said:  “The regime is tightening screws on the opposition by moving a gear up from harassment, beatings and threats to putting people in prison.

“There is no doubt that the charges against Haruzivishe, Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Chimbiri are politicised to set an example and frighten the rest of opposition activists from confronting the regime.”

He added: “Unbeknown, the regime is creating struggle heroes”. United Kingdom-based lawyer Alex Magaisa said: “But it was only a matter of time before the Mnangagwa regime started to convict and lock up political opponents.

“It will only get worse.” Standard

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