Opposition MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa, accompanied by his lawyer Thabani Mpofu, on Tuesday visited incarcerated journalist Hopewell Chin’ono at Harare Remand Prison.
“Clearly we must do something about what is happening. … It is time that we take care of Zimbabwean lives that matter … We must be serious about the situation,” Chamisa said.
Chamisa visited both Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume, the leader of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe party who had helped to organize the foiled July 31 protests.
On Tuesday President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave a speech calling the main opposition party “terrorist,” and vowed to flush out opponents in an ongoing clampdown.
Scores of opposition members and government critics have been arrested and rights groups allege security forces have carried out illegal abductions and torture.
Mnangagwa described critics as “dark forces,” and “a few bad apples” that should be “overcome,” in an address on state television Tuesday.
In his speech, Mnangagwa, who rights groups accuse of using COVID-19 as a cover to clamp down on dissent, said Zimbabwe’s security forces would not relent.
“Security services will carry out their duties with appropriate astuteness and resolve. The protection of the right to life is paramount, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and machinations by the destructive terrorist opposition groupings,” he said.
Mnangagwa pledged to fight corruption and fix the collapsing economy, whose poor performance he blamed on “divisive politics of some opposition elements, illegal economic sanctions, cyclones, droughts and more recently the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”