MDC-Alliance members (from left) Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova at Harare Magistrates’ Court recently. — Picture: Justin Mutenda
The MDC Alliance Youth Assembly has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of being anti-women amid the continued detention of female opposition MDC Alliance officials Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova and Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe.
The three female leaders of the main opposition were on Friday detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and on Monday were denied bail. They are charged with allegedly “faking” their abduction.
The trio were arrested following a protest in which they were calling for government to provide vulnerable communities with food during the lockdown.
They were arrested and taken to Harare Central Prison and the police Spokesperson, Paul Nyathi confirmed their arrest but they subsequently went missing while in custody.
In a statement seen by Nehanda Radio, MDC Youth Assembly National spokesperson Stephen Sarkozy Chuma said the detention of Mamombe, Marova and Chimbiri was “a clear indication that Emmerson Mnangagwa’s illegitimate regime is anti-women.”
“Chikurubi Maximum Prison is hell’s waiting room and the prison facility which harbours the worst of the worst criminals and murderers is a symbol of Emmerson Mnangagwa’s military dictatorship.
“The so called ‘New Dispensation’ administration uses the facility as a concentration camp for punishing dissenting voices and opposition figures,” Chuma said.
Chuma added that the “more curious and heartbreaking is that the patriarchal military dictatorship often uses the facility to punish women,” he added.
He said Chimbiri, Marova and Momombe case was not the first case in point where government military regime exhibited tendencies of misogyny and hatred for womanhood.
“A quick flashback to 02 March 2020 shows that the two Chitungwiza women, Taurai Nyamanhindi and Tanyaradzwa Zawaira whom I was charged together with were made to languish in this same concentration camp disguised as a prison for the whole of March.
“A further dig into history also shows that even the wife of Mnangagwa’s deputy, Mary Chiwenga huffed and puffed in the same prison facility for not less than 2 weeks during Christmas festive season last year.
“In January 2019 more and more women were raped by rogue soldiers at the instruction of their Commander in Chief for simply voicing that their homes are empty.
“The list of cases of women abuse under Emmerson Mnangagwa’s military dictatorship is infinite but what is clear is that his regime detests everything women.
Chuma added that it was time for real men and women to stand up against the “unAfrican, inhumane and intolerable abuse of women”
“Chimbiri , Marova and Momombe were abducted, tortured, abused and raped, and as such they are supposed to be in courts as witnesses and not as the accused.
“The real candidates for Chikurubi Maximum Prison are those that ordered the broad daylight butcherings of civilians by soldiers on 01 August 2018,” he added.
United Nations (UN) human rights experts recently urged the government of Zimbabwe to end the alleged torture, rape and abductions aimed at suppressing dissenting voices in the country and to drop the charges against the trio. Nehanda Radio