Scores of human rights activists last week convened at Mbare magistrate court for the trial of Linda Musarira and ten other activists who were arrested in Mufakose for an orchestrated charge of throwing ‘stones and burning stalls’ of vendors.
The 11 were reportedly picked by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the 6th of July, on the day of the famous National Shutdown. The Historic day saw the country undergoing a virtual standstill with civil servants and other workers heeding to calls to stay away from work.
Speaking to this publication, multitudes of activists who included members of Restoration of Human Rights, (ROHR), #Tajamuka/Sesijikile, Occupy Africa Unity Square Movement and the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU), vowed to support the arrested activists.
“Gathering here gives us strength. It is encouraging to note that people have come in their numbers fighting for one thing,” said Patson Dzamara, brother to the abducted human rights activist, Itai Dzamara.
Tinashe Zhakata, a ROHR member denounced the government for arresting peaceful protesters, whom he said were exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right.
“Government is arresting and detaining activist illegally and we condemn that,” he said.
Zhakata said his organisation will make sure that every citizen’s rights are protected as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe.
ZINASU Secretary General, Makomborero Haruzivishe weighed in saying government must stop arresting people, who will be peacefully airing out their grievances.
“Government should just respond to the country’s outcry and address the problems that are currently prevailing in the country and stop arresting innocent people,” he said.
The court has up to date fail to award bail to the 11th accused person, Linda Masarira saying she would flee the country once granted bail.