|Known for||Political Activism|
Makomborero Haruzivishe is a political activist, political prisoner in Zimbabwe. He is a member of the MDC political party led by Nelson Chamisa. On 6 April 2021, he was sentenced to 36 months in prison by a Harare magistrate for "incitement to commit public violence" and "resisting a peace officer".
Arrest in February 2021
Makomborero was arrested on 17 February and charged with kidnapping, participating in a gathering with intent to commit public violence, and breaching peace or bigotry.
Haruzivishe said he was arrested by armed men who initially intended to take him to some place before he raised alarm prompting the gang to drop him off at Harare Central police. Human Right lawyer, Obey Shava who was representing Makomborero, said in court, “They took the accused person to their unmarked vehicles and drove towards Chitungwiza. The accused saved himself by screaming that he was being kidnapped after he saw people. Only then did the arresting suspects make a u-turn and dropped him at Harare Central Police Station". Shava also told magistrate Isheanesu Matova that the people who arrested the activist refused to identify themselves.
The state alleged that Makomborero, together with others, forced their way into Impala Motor Spares and detained employees whom they accused of causing the arrest of their colleague Takudzwa Ngadziore in 2020.
A number of MDC Alliance members including Cecilia Chimbiri and Joana Mamombe were arrested after they had picketed in Harare demanding the release of the former Zimbabwe National Students Union secretary-general, Ngadziore.
Conviction and Setencing
On 31 March 2021, Makomborero was convicted of inciting public violence and resisting police arrest. The kidnapping case was pending.
Haruzivishe denied both charges, telling his trial that he was coming out of a Chicken Inn fast-food outlet at about 10.30AM when he saw police officers arresting vendors. He said a police officer who knew him approached and said “we know you MDC people, you’re a problem” before snatching his phone.
He testified that when he shouted at the police officer to return his phone while following him, he was surrounded by other police officers and arrested.
During his trial and following his conviction, political activists, MDC members and ordinary people called for his release using social media hashtags such as #FreeMako.
The Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYF), a Regional Coordinating Platform for Youth in SADC commented after his conviction that it was worried:
We are very concerned & worried over the conviction of a 29 yr old youth leader @MakomboreroH. We are reliably informed he was a just expressing self as provided in the Zimbabwe Constitution. We call for the government to work together & listen to young pple’s views #SADCYOUTH
He was sentenced the following week on 6 April by Magistrate Judith Taruvinga to 24 months in prison with 10 months suspended on the first count of incitement to commit public violence. On the second count of resisting a peace officer, Haruziviishe was sentenced to 12 months with 6 months suspended.
Several political activists and MDC Alliance members attended the sentencing at the Harare Magistrates Court. A journalist was injured outside court when police indiscriminately beat up people with truncheons as they feared anti-government protests. Police also disrupted a news conference by MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, amid claims that she was fondled by one of the male officers in the chaotic scenes.
Social Media Presence
- Makomborero Haruzivishe, LinkedIn, Retrieved: 6 April 2021
- Activist Haruzivishe Further Detained, New Zimbabwe, Published: 19 Feb 2021 , Retrieved: 6 Aril 2021
- Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYoF-SADC), We are very concerned & worried over the conviction of a 29 yr old youth leader @MakomboreroH, Twitter, Published: 4 April 2021, Retrieved: 6 April 2021
- Haruziviishe Sentenced To 20 Months In Prison, Pindula News, Published: 6 April 2021, Retrieved: 6 April 2021