4 June 2019

Zimbabwe: State Slammed Over Continued Harassment of CSO Leaders

Photo: @HealZim/Twitter
The Heal Zimbabwe tweet about the visit to Rashid Mahiya's house.

Following the unceremonious visit to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) Chairperson Rashid Mahiya's house by unidentified people early this morning, civic groups have come out guns blazing against the state accusing it of violating fundamental human rights and freedoms of human rights defenders as enshrined in the constitution of the country.

According to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, at around 0500 hours, alleged state agents who refused to identify themselves besieged the house of Mahiya, surrounded it for about an hour and continuously knocked on the doors to be allowed entry.

In a statement this afternoon, Heal Zimbabwe expressed concern that state agents have previously visited Mahiya's house soon after the January 14 national shutdown and heavily assaulted his brother, mother and wife.

"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," the organisation said.

Just yesterday, the United States Ambasador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols visited the minister of foreign affairs and international trade, Sibusiso Moyo where he also expressed concern over the harassment of civil society leaders.

The government is increasingly paranoid over fears of uprising due to soaring inflation which continues to erode the salaries of civil servants who are paid in local RTGS dollar.

This has seen government increasing its surveillance on key opposition and civic leaders who now fear for their lives.

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