The Zimbabwean government has remained steadfast in its defence against accusations of human rights abuses and the suppression of dissent amid growing international condemnation by human rights groups, diplomats and legal fraternities across the globe.
In the past week, human rights lawyers in Zimbabwe representing jailed activists have been arrested, denied access to represent activists or assaulted by police at courts, while ordinary citizens who continue to speak against injustices are being arrested.
Responding to a letter from Kerry Kennedy, the president of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, told Daily Maverick that:
Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. (Photo: Fazila Mahomed)
“I don’t have the authority to intervene over court processes and I don’t know whether in their countries, if the case is before the courts an executive order can be issued to stop proceedings. So, I don’t know where I can get the authority even to contemplate doing that without them [RFK Human Rights] alleging that we interfere with the independence of the judiciary.”
Kennedy called for authorities in Zimbabwe to, “secure the immediate release of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono from arbitrary detention and for the baseless…