EXPLAINER | What you need to know about what’s happening in Zimbabwe | News24

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that 'dark forces' both inside and outside Zimbabwe 'have tampered with' the country’s growth for 'too long'.

2020-08-04 10:29:00 PM

The growing reports of alleged human rights violations have prompted the ZimbabweanLivesMatter social movement. pejames unpacks what you need to know about what is happening in Zimbabwe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that 'dark forces' both inside and outside Zimbabwe 'have tampered with' the country’s growth for 'too long'.

At the time, Amnesty International's Muleya Mwananyanda said:"The charges levelled against these nurses, to enforce Covid-19 lockdown regulations, are clearly aimed at preventing them from organising and speaking out against low wages and terrible working conditions."

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Ahead of a planned mass public gathering against corruption on 31 July, Chin'ono was arrested at his home in Harare on 20 July after he reported on allegations involving US$60 million in state corruption.The Dutch embassy in Zimbabwe described Chin'ono's arrest as"part of a worrying trend against free speech in Zimbabwe", but Secretary for Information Nick Mangwana said journalists were not above the law. 

A day later, activist Jacob Ngarivhume of the Transformation Zimbabwe non-profit, suspected of being one of the organisers of the 31 July protests, was also arrested. On the same day, Mnangagwa announced vast new lockdown measures, including a new 18:00 to 06:00 curfew, and forcing"non-working sections" of the population to stay at home. 

"Anyone who knowingly exposes, aids, abets, or infects innocent persons, whether by breaching conditions of isolation or by encouraging actions which undermine public health measures which government has announced or undertaken, will be liable, and severely punished accordingly," Mnangagwa said.

A day before planned nationwide protests on 30 July, Amnesty International said police, and refused to release her until the journalist appeared at Bulawayo Central police station.Mathuthu is the editor of online publication Zimlive and has been charged with planning the protests. 

What happened on 31 July? On Friday, 31 July, Zimbabwean businesses were closed and streets deserted in the capital Harare early on Friday as security forces increased patrols to stop anti-government protests called by activists over corruption and economic hardship.

Security forces also increased checkpointsthe SABC reported.In central Harare and nearby Mbare township - a hotbed of past protests - businesses, including banks and supermarkets,"Workers were told not to come today just in case there was trouble," a security guard, who identified himself as Martin, told Reuters.

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Mnangagwa described the planned protests as an"insurrection" by the opposition.Amnesty International said a number of activistswent into hiding ahead of the protest after police published a list of names of human rights defenders wanted for questioning in connection with the planned protests.

The increased police presence largely halted the planned protest, however, some individuals bravely defied the banning order and were arrested. This included opposition party MDC's spokesperson Fadzai Mahere and Henry Chivanga - an activist fighting for the rights of people with disabilities - both were arrested. 

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