Events that obtained on Wednesday during the court appearance of #Thisflag leader, Pastor Evan Mawarire have come to vindicate civic society’s long held view that the justice delivery system is under serious threat in Zimbabwe.
What has come out clearly out of the Mawarire case is the regime’s tactic of persecution by prosecution in a bid to silence dissenting voices.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) condemns in the strongest terms possible, the abuse of the law by the government to clamp down on civic society as well as opposition activists and ordinary citizens expressing their disgruntlement over misgovernance.
On July 13, 2016, Mawarire came to court charged with inciting violence but the charges were abruptly changed by the State and Mawarire was charged for subverting a constitutionally elected government.
Mawarire has often been labeled as an agent of regime change agenda by ruling party officials and the latest attempts to persecute him point to interference in the justice delivery system by ruling party politicians.
The heavy presence of gun totting riot police officers inside the court room during Mawarire’s court hearing also shows the extent to which Zimbabwe has become a military State where law enforcement agents are used to instill fear in unarmed civilians.
CIZC is of the firm view that the government’s failure to revive the economy has been largely responsible for the frustration among ordinary Zimbabweans who of late have taken to the streets to express their disgruntlement.
Our major concern is that instead of addressing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods, the regime has instead responded with force to clampdown on civilians pushing genuine interests.
This kind of behavior by the regime has been responsible for the arrest of hundreds of citizens countrywide and there is every reason to believe that as the economy continues on a downward trend, Zimbabwe is likely to witness more of these rights violations as citizens continue to express their disgust over the government’s failure to deliver.
As CIZC, we are on record that we stand in solidarity with the impoverished masses of Zimbabwe and urge all progressive forces to exercise their constitutional right to protest in a peaceful manner as a way of holding the government to account.
CIZC implores law enforcement agents to observe people’s fundamental rights and freedoms such a the right to protest and we also call upon regional, continental as well as international groupings to intervene in refraining the Zimbabwean government from perpetrating violence against unarmed civilians.
Government must concentrate on reviving the economy and addressing issues such as corruption rather than to turn violent against citizens who are merely calling upon the government to deliver on its obligations.