The Herald Accused Mahere Of Lying At UN Human Rights Summit
The Herald accused Fadzayi Mahere, the CCC spokesperson, of lying during the United Nations Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy 2023 in Switzerland, where 25 NGOs partnered to discuss the state of human rights in different countries.
Mahere claimed that Zimbabwe is a “full-blown dictatorship” and opposition leaders are being politically persecuted.
The Herald refuted these claims, stating that Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was jailed for inciting public violence and that Job Sikhala was in remand for facing multiple charges.
The article criticized Mahere for shaping the international community’s perception of Zimbabwe’s human rights situation ahead of the forthcoming elections and accused her of using a “borrowed Western English accent” to do so.
Mahere claimed during the United Nations Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy 2023 that the crackdown on opposition members was a sign that they were winning. However, The Herald refuted these claims, stating that the opposition committed criminal offences because they were not popular and wanted to appear popular.
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The article also criticized the CCC for failing to register enough voters for its leader, Nelson Chamisa, and for making false promises during the election campaign. It accused the opposition of stirring violence to create an environment of contested elections and justify their defeat and subsequent calls for more sanctions on Zimbabweans.
The article concluded by stating that President Mnangagwa had publicly denounced violence and urged Zimbabweans to vote in peace, while the opposition warned their supporters to arm themselves and be ready to defend the vote by any means possible, including violence.
Sikhala has been in prison since June 2022 when he was arrested and charged with inciting public violence which erupted during the funeral wake of slain Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, Moreblessing Ali. Sikhala denies the charges against him. His party and some analysts believe that the judiciary is captured by the executive and that Sikhala’s prolonged detention is politically motivated. These analysts believe that the judiciary should remain autonomous and free from any perception of being owned or controlled.
Ngarivhume was convicted of incitement to public violence and sentenced to four years in jail for a tweet he posted in July 2020. Twelve months were conditionally suspended, with his case being seen as a threat to the constitutional rights of all Zimbabweans. In the 2020 tweet, Ngarivhume called for a national shutdown to protest against poor leadership by the ZANU PF-led government.
Dictatorship in Zimbabwe?
Robert Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s President from 1987 to 2017. His government faced allegations of human rights abuses, corruption and political repression. The regime was accused of manipulating elections, suppressing opposition voices and using violence to maintain power. The media was tightly controlled, and journalists were often arrested for reporting on critical issues. Mugabe’s rule lacked respect for the rule of law, leading many to label it as a dictatorship.
Following the ousting of Robert Mugabe in 2017, there were expectations that his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, would lead Zimbabwe towards democratic reforms. Mnangagwa promised to create a “new Zimbabwe,” free from the repression and corruption that characterized Mugabe’s rule. However, nearly four years after taking office, many Zimbabweans feel that little has changed. The country continues to face economic challenges and political repression, with opposition leaders and activists frequently harassed and arrested. Critics accuse Mnangagwa of failing to follow through on his promises and of perpetuating many of the same practices that defined Mugabe’s regime.