Zimbabwe police arrested prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume on Monday (AP News). Police accused Chin’ono and Ngarivhume of inciting violence prior to protests planned for July 31st, which aim to speak out against government corruption (Al Jazeera 1). Chin’ono has been a leader of this charge, using his platform to encourage citizens to speak and act against corruption (Al Jazeera 1). Arrested opposition leader Ngarivhume organized the July 31st protests, which the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Changed (MDC) has supported (Reuters 1).
In the last few months, the police have arrested hundreds of people for protesting, striking or even doing their job, including doctors, lawyers, nurses and journalists (AP News). The MDC has expressed concerns over the arrests, claiming that this may be the beginning of a crackdown on government opposition (Reuters 1). Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has imposed tighter COVID-19 restrictions, which critics believe are linked to the upcoming protests, including a nightly curfew and a ban on public gatherings (Reuters 2). The court magistrate has ruled that Ngarivhume will remain in prison without bail until his next court appearance; Chin’ono’s bail hearing has been deferred until Friday (Al Jazeera 2).