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Ngarivhume jailing: another nail onto the coffin of democracy in Zimbabwe




A Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition statement on the incarceration of Jacob Ngarivhume


30 April 2023

The jailing of Transform Zimbabwe opposition political party leader Jacob Ngarivhume for simply urging Zimbabweans to utilize their constitutional right to protest as enshrined under Section 59 of the constitution is confirmation that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is hell bent on undoing democracy in Zimbabwe.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is gravely concerned at how the country is going down the path to full autocracy, where alternative voices have no place.

Ngarivhume becomes the third person to be convicted of what we believe are charges meant to silence people from expressing themselves.

In the past year, we have seen the conviction of Tsitsi Dangarembga for participating in a July 31, 2020 demonstration against corruption and misgovernance


Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere was recently convicted for defeating the course of justice after she tweeted that a police patrol against traffic offenders had resulted in the death of a young girl.

The State has made clear its intention to use law fare against dissenting voices as evidenced by the continued incarceration of CCC top official and legislator Job Sikhala, who has been languishing in remand prison since his arrest last year.

These judiciary and court system in Zimbabwe continues to beused to suppress dissenting voices.

The authoritarian nature of the Zimbabwean government is a betrayal of the founding values of the national which guranteed the right of every Zimbabwean to participate in the civil political and social affairs of the country.

It is therefore a huge disappointment when we witness a trend where people are punished for simply expressing themselves..


The Coalition believes that it is only through the entrenchment of democratic values that Zimbabwe can achieve inclusive social, political and economic growth and development.

Two years ago, there was a rushed amendment of the Constitution that gave the president more powers over the legislature and the judiciary, and it is from then that we witnessed an escalation of persecution by prosecution of civil rights and political activists.

Government, through its state security agents, has continued to perpetuate a culture of intolerance, which goes against the principles of freedom of expression, assembly, and affiliation and any dissent has been met with arrests, abductions, detention and many other autocratic methods that go against the spirit of democracy and openness.

Currently, government is pushing through the PVO Bill, which will give government more power to control and shut down civil society institutions, which in a democracy, play a critical role in a democratic society in complementing the work of government, and providing checks and balances on policy implementation.

Suppression of the work of civil society as has been seen lately, can only point to the shutting down of democractic space, which does not put Zimbabwe in good light.

Protestors are violently or arrested dispersed by the police and pluralistic dialogue is not encouraged and it is an indictment on government that Zimbabwe only has one operational television station and the issuing of broadcast licences is strictly controlled.

In light of this, the Coalition continues to remind government that its role is not to assault the very principles that hold the country together, and these are the principles of Constitutionalism, openness, fairness, transparency and respect for the will of the people.

The Coalition urges government to reverse the current brazen disrespect for the Constitution and the people who assented to it in 2013.

The current efforts to take away the voices of citizens through the enactment of repressive laws, the use of state security agents and other rogue methods are detrimental to Zimbabwe’s political, social, and economic development.



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