The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) notes with concern the arrest of Transform Zimbabwe President Jacob Ngarivhume who is the convener for the 31 July Protest and Journalists Hopewell Chin’ono who has been exposing government corruption on social media.
Ngarivhume has been calling on Zimbabweans to exercise their right to demonstrate on 31 July against corruption, poverty and failure by government to address the economic problems in the country that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 induced lockdown. ZimRights understands that Ngarivhume is in police custody.
Chin’ono’s arrest has been documented in a video circulating on social media in which the police officers instruct him to stop using his mobile phone. Chin’ono has been complaining about harassment and threats he has been receiving after exposing the Drax International deal that sucked in Ministry of Health and could have led to the dismissal of Health Minister Obediah Moyo.
ZimRights reminds the government that the Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees the right to demonstrate and also free expression and the right to information for citizens to speak out as protected by the Constitution.
We have always noted that when citizens expose corruption, they are being good citizens and their work must be protected. When journalists raise key human rights issues, they do so on behalf of all of us. As a grassroots human rights advocacy group, whose members are suffering the effects of corruption, we stand in solidarity with Jacob Ngarivhume and Hopewell Chinon’ono. We reiterate that corruption is a human rights issue.