Zimbabwean Comedian Gonyeti was Allegedly Abducted and Beaten
This comes after the comedian produced several skits criticizing both the police and the government.
Samantha Kureya, who is known by her stage name Gonyeti, is a Zimbabwean comedian whose skits have been critical of police brutality and the Zimbabwean government. According to Zimbabwe's News Day, Gonyeti was allegedly taken from her home in Mufakose by masked and armed men who reportedly beat her and members of her family.
Gonyeti was eventually found by one of her colleagues in a nondescript bush in the capital, Harare. According to the BBC, the colleague of the comedian alleged that Gonyeti was not only badly bruised when he found her, but had also been forced to drink sewage water. Taking to Twitter, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Nelson Chamisa, accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of having been behind Gonyeti's alleged abduction and assault.
Just last week, several MDC supporters were violently dispersed by the police in Harare after a planned anti-government protest was cancelled following a ban by the High Court.
Comedians and artists have always faced varying consequences for criticizing the government or the police. Veteran musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo, had their respective protest songs "Wasakara" and "Corruption in the society", banned from being played in the country altogether. Mapfumo was eventually exiled to the United States in 2004 but returned last year. Another Zimbabwean musician, Raymond Majongwe, recorded his popular album Dhiziri kuChinhoyi in South Africa, after recording studios outright refused to have any part in the project for fear of retaliation from then President Robert Mugabe.
In the wake of anti-government protests calling for President Mnangagwa to step down amid mounting socio-economic issues, Zimbabwe is becoming increasingly intolerant of political dissidents.