The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) condemns the continued incarceration of two clergymen, Pastor Evan Mawarire and Pastor Patrick Mugadza after they were arrested for expressing their political opinions as guaranteed by the constitution. The two are prisoners of conscience whose only crime is to express their political opinions and must be unconditionally released.
The pastors were arrested for expressing dissatisfaction with the government of President Robert Mugabe. Pastor Mugadza has been incarcerated for three weeks without bail and was unable to come to court last Friday as the state had no fuel to transport prisoners. This is a further infringement of his right to liberty.
Pastor Mawarire was arrested at the Harare international airport last Wednesday and has been confined at Chikurubi Maximum Prison since Saturday. He is being treated as a dangerous criminal.
Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and this includes the right to express a political opinion in a peaceful manner. Citizens also have the right to petition the government or political leaders on any issues affecting them including demanding that the President resign if they have any lawful justification for that demand.
The government of Zimbabwe is unnecessarily blemishing its already questionable human rights record by holding citizens in jail for solely expressing political opinions.
The ZPP urges the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and regional bodies to pressure the Zimbabwean government to release all political prisoners and guarantee their right to freedom of expression.
ZPP is a Non Governmental Organisation that was founded in 2000 by a group of faith based and human rights NGOs working and interested in human rights and peace-building initiatives. ZPP has become a vehicle for civic interventions in times of political crises. In particular, ZPP seeks to monitor and document incidents of human rights violations and breaches of peace.
If you are concerned about acts of violence in your community, ZPP encourages you to get in touch with us on Hotline and WhatsApp numbers
+263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417
Toll Free: 080 80199