Makomborero Haruzivishe (age 28) is a young Zimbabwean prodemocracy activist who has openly spoken against allegations of corruption, and human rights violations including abductions by the Zimbabwean authorities. He is being prosecuted and faces detention solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
He was arrested on 17 February 2021 by armed men in civilian clothing, suspected to be state security in Sunningdale, Harare and was taken to the police station. He was charged with inciting violence for blowing a whistle during a protest in 2020, allegedly ‘to alert protestors to revolt against the police’ during the protest.
He was subsequently convicted of inciting violence and resisting lawful arrest for which he was sentenced on 6 April 2021 to 36 months in prison. At the time of being sentenced, Makomborero faced three other charges, all connected to his peaceful activism.
Even though he appealed the sentence and was granted bail by a High Court judge in July 2021, Makomborero remained in prison after a magistrate ruled to revoke it until he has been tried for the other three offences. After 10 months in detention, Makomborero was eventually granted bail on 7 January 2022 for the outstanding charges and released from prison the following day (8 January).
Amnesty International believes Makomborero Haruzivishe’s conviction, and the ongoing criminal proceedings against him are politically motivated, stemming from his peaceful activism and are a ploy to silence him and other activists and stop them from exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
Amnesty International therefore calls for all the charges against him to be immediately dropped. The authorities must end the persecution, and respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of everyone in the country.
Please write to:
Hon Ziyambi Ziyambi
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
New government Complex
Cnr V Muzenda and Samora Machel Avenue
6th Floor, Block C
Dear Minister of Justice
Makomborero Haruzivishe is a young pro-democracy activist, well-known for engaging in peaceful protest and dissent. He was arrested on 17 February 2021 and detained for 10months till 8 January 2022.
His arrest and detention are politically motivated. Like many others in Zimbabwe, he has been targeted solely for his peaceful political activism and for exercising his rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The charges against him are being used as a pretext to silence his voice and criminalise his activism and send a chilling message to other human rights defenders and activists.
I urge you to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the fabricated charges against Makomborero Haruzivishe are immediately dropped, and to end the persecution of human rights defenders and activists.