The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader in Zimbabwe Nelson Chamisa says he won’t accept the political persecution of his party members.
He has denounced the torture, abduction, and drugging of two of the party’s task force members, Councillor-elect Womberaishe Nhende and Sanelo Mkhuhlani in Harare.
The pair’s lawyers, Douglas Coltart and Tapiwa Muchineripi were also arrested, however, the legal representatives have since been released on $100 bail each. Chamisa said:
We are going to take this matter up with the relevant authorities the police to make sure investigation is done, we are going to raise this issue internationally, this is unacceptable after the freedom of choice, you don’t expect torture. People just vote it was a sham election a disputed election and flawed election.
The political atmosphere in Zimbabwe is tense following the recent election, in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa secured a second term.
Opposition leader Chamisa has rejected the election results, pointing to preliminary reports from observer missions. These reports highlight that although the elections were peaceful, they did not meet regional and international standards. Chamisa is calling for a fresh election overseen by an “impartial” body such as SADC, the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN), rather than the “biased” Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
President Mnangagwa was officially inaugurated and sworn in on Monday, 4th September 2023, at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. The event was attended by four current presidents, former presidents, ambassadors, former vice presidents, and other dignitaries.
Chamisa’s remarks against the persecution of CCC members come amid calls for the release of Job Sikhala, the outgoing MP for Zengeza West, who has spent 449 days in Chikurubi Maximum Prison. Sikhala who asserts that he is a political prisoner has been denied bail on several occasions. He has not been convicted of any crime warranting his imprisonment. Sikhala was arrested after he had advocated for Moreblessing Ali, an opposition female member who was murdered by ZANU PF individuals in Nyatsime.
In addition, Jacob Ngarivhume, another opposition leader, is also incarcerated for posting on Twitter encouraging Zimbabweans to participate in a failed national shutdown aimed at addressing widespread corruption within the government.