14th April 2024

We strongly condemn the arrest of 9 villagers at Watsomba business centre in Manicaland for booing Auxillia Mnangagwa on Wednesday, 10th April 2024. The Mnangagwas and any politician, for that matter, are not beyond reproach.

According to section 63 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 19 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international human rights instruments, people have the right to freedom of expression.

The nine, Nester Chatiwana, Panashe Machekanzondo, Winnet Sithole, Maria Choto, Esnath Choto, Ellen Rujuwa, Faith Chidhakwa, Patience Matasva and Joyce Mashingaidza are victims of a paranoid and rabid regime which will stop at nothing to hold on to power at the expense of the welfare of citizens.

We urge the government of Zimbabwe to stop the persecution of citizens for simply expressing themselves, to open up the democratic space and to focus on creating an environment that promotes the welfare of citizens.