The Alliance of Community Based Organizations (ACBOs) has learnt of the arrest of 8 human rights defenders including our very own colleague G Mukura from COTRAD, T Mamboyerama from Citizens Manifesto, G Makoni and N Mpahlo from CCDZ and Transparency Zim respectively on trumped up charges following a report by two state owned papers namely The Herald and The Chronicle which claimed that some individuals from the Civil Society had attended a training aimed at equipping them with adequate know-how on overthrowing governments.

The civil society has long experienced adversity from government, the term Regime Change Agents being used for the purposes of justifying its conduct toward groups that have made strides in ensuring that the democratic space is widened. Our mandate is development, we are no enemies of state and do not wish to be, we simply compliment government in creating a democratic state by advocating for inclusive development and human rights. The arrests of our fellow colleagues are counter-development and anti-democratic and go against the President His Excellency E.D Mnangagwa’s recent positive engagements with leaders from the civil society. They cast a shadow of doubt on the sincerity of these engagements and expose the true perception government has on us and the work that we do.

We therefore DEMAND that the ZRP release our colleagues and allow us to work hand-in-hand with government in developing the country and improving the livelihoods of ordinary citizens in Zimbabwe, they have long suffered enough. We call upon government to put an end to the clampdown on the Civil Society, a swift return to Constitutionalism, let us all focus our energies on rebuilding Zimbabwe’s economy and healing the social and political fabric.

Source: Alliance of Community Based Organizations (ACBOs)