Zimbabwe Arrests Opposition Party Members After Anti-Government Demonstration

This June 5, 2020 picture from Harare, Zimbabwe, shows heavy police presence outside Zimbabwe's opposition party MDC- Alliance party headquarters after the party Vice President Tendai Biti asked police to allow him to access the building and clear out members of a splinter group that had previously occupied the building.

Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images

Zimbabwe Arrests Opposition Party Members After Anti-Government Demonstration

The Zimbabwean government has arrested three female opposition party members for the alleged abuse of police officers during a protest.

Zimbabwe has been under scrutiny following the recent arrest of three female opposition party members for protesting. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance members were reportedly arrested on Monday for the alleged abuse of police officers during a protest. The protest called for the release of deputy chairman of MDC Alliance,Job Sikhala. According to police reports Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, andNetsai Marova were charged for using foul language and obstructing police officers' duties.

Read: Zimbabwe Approves Law Which Will Criminalise Anti-Government Protests

BBC reports that Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova were protesting outside a government building in Harare when police intervened. It is alleged that the trio then followed the police vehicle of police who were in attendance of the protest. The car that had no visible number plate and the women, according to a police statement, exchanged abusive language with the officers. According to Anadolu Agency, spokesperson for the MDC, Fadzayi Mahere, responded to the arrest to the news outlet.

"We condemn the arbitrary arrests against the MDC trio, members of the opposition and critics of President Mnangagwa's failed government. This continued violation of law and citizens' rights at a time when progressive nations are focused on fighting COVID-19 confirms that the regime has lost the battle of ideas. But the people will not stop fighting for democracy. Not even imprisonment will silence us."

The MDC then called out the government for its growing violent responses against demonstrators through Twitter. Anadolu Agency reports that according to the party lawyers, Marova, was later released without charge, while Mamombe and Chimbiri were detained overnight. The three women were previously arrested last year in May where they reported being tortured and forced to drink each others urine, this according to the BBC.

The United Nations (UN) has condemned Zimbabwe over the growing harassment of public demonstrators. Last year, Zimbabwe approved a law which deems all anti-government public demonstrations illegal. Sikhala, who was arrested on charges of spreading false information on social media, was later released on Monday.