Harare – Zimbabwe, a Southern African country bordering South Africa from the South has faced a myriad of problems since gaining its independence in 1980 from Britain and it’s of no wild guess where those problems came from, what they are and their effects on citizens.
Over the years spanning before former president Robert Mugabe was removed from office through a coup de tat, the once known as the breadbasket of Africa has been facing rampant corruption, human rights violations characterized with abductions, tortures, and murders of anyone opposing the government which is made up of the ruling Zanu PF party as well as a failing economy which has led to millions of Zimbabweans fleeing to neighboring countries and as far as Europe.
On the evening of 14 November 2017, elements of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces gathered around Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, and seized control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and key areas of the city. During the few days that came after this night, Mugabe tendered in his resignation and Mnangagwa who was a fired former Vice President took over as the acting president of the country until next elections which became violent when the ruling party was accused of rigging elections.
Due to a growing frustration from Zimbabweans, Zimbabwe’s military and police are arresting scores of opposition members and activists after authorities thwarted an anti-government protest last week, according to rights groups.
More than 60 people have been arrested so far in the continuing clampdown, said Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which is providing lawyers for the arrested people. Last week internationally known author Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested for a peaceful protest and spent a night in police cells before being released on bail.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the MDC Alliance which has been labeled as a terrorist Org, says dozens of its officials have been arrested or have gone into hiding. If state agents do not find the person they want to arrest, they often vandalize their homes and harass their relatives, said opposition spokesman Tendai Biti.
Human rights groups accuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of clamping down on dissent under the guise of enforcing anti-COVID-19 lockdown rules.
The Zimbabwean police and government officials have repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses, saying those arrested or being sought by the police were inciting people to revolt against Mnangagwa’s government.
On Monday, a judge postponed until Thursday a bail hearing for Hopewell Chin’ono, an investigative journalist who has been in jail for two weeks on accusations of mobilizing the foiled protests.
Another investigative journalist, Mdudzuzi Mathuthu, prominent for reporting on alleged government corruption linked to purchases of COVID-19 personal procurement equipment and drugs, is in hiding.
The Zimbabwean government has repeatedly blamed sanctions as the sole cause of the problems Zimbabwe has been facing for the past 20+ years but are they?