'You must respect the rights of citizens to free speech': Mmusi Maimane to Emmerson Mnangagwa
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has asked Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa to release investigative journalist Hopewell Chin'ono, and to respect the rights of citizens to protest.
His response came after Mnangagwa posted on Twitter that his government is working towards rebuilding and improving the lives of Zimbabweans.
Hai man. This thing is simple, you must release investigative journalists like Hopewell Chin’ono, you must respect the rights of citizens to free speech and the rights of activists to organize around their causes.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) August 4, 2020
Chin'ono was arrested at his home two weeks ago for inciting public violence. His arrest came after he exposed alleged government corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 supplies.
The Zimbabwean government has faced wide ranging backlash internationally for its “authoritarian rule” and “silencing” of human rights activists, journalists and members of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, through arrests and abductions.
Among those arrested were the award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga. She was arrested on Friday for protesting against the government. Many called for her release after she shared the news of her arrest on Twitter. She was released on bail on Saturday.
A 22-year-old media student, Tawanda Muchehiwa, was abducted and then dumped after he was severely beaten.
Maimane has been leading appeals for intervention in Zimbabwe, asking well-known entertainers to raise awareness about the situation there.
It comes after protests in the country resulted in arrests and the army being called in.