The United States has urged Zimbabwe to end arbitrary arrests and intimidation of political players as the country braces for the trial of prominent preacher Evan Mawarire for alleged treason.
Mawarire was initially arrested last year after he led one of the most successful job boycotts in recent memory, protesting against corruption and economic problems in the country.
He was freed by a Harare magistrate before leaving for the United States, where he lived for several months. He was arrested soon after returning home in February this year.
"The United States is monitoring the trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire, and calls for an end to arbitrary arrests and intimidation for political purposes," the US embassy said in Harare yesterday.
"We support freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly.
"We call on the government of Zimbabwe to respect and to protect the human rights of all persons in Zimbabwe, consistent with international human rights norms."
Last week President Robert Mugabe called United States President Donald Trump a "giant gold Goliath" who threatens to make other countries extinct.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Mugabe also told Trump to "blow your trumpet" for peace.