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July 31 protests organizer Ngarivhume, journalist Chin’ono arrested

Opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono were arrested on Monday following a crackdown ahead of planned anti-government protests on July 31.

Ngarivhume, the leader of Transform Zimbabwe, was taken to Harare Central Police Station, his lawyer Moses Nkomo said.

Nkomo said they had not been told what charges he faced.

Chin’ono, one of the journalists who have been exposing corruption, was dragged away and bundled into a car after state security agents broke down a glass door to gain entry into his Chisipite home.

His lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa who had been called after police turned up at the gate circulated a video she recorded at Chin’ono’s house showing the damage.

Mtetwa said eight state security agents were involved in the raid.

“He has been abducted, we’re not sure where he has been taken. His helper says they did not produce any warrant when they came to his house,” Mtetwa said.

Ngarivhume started an internet campaign for nationwide protests against corruption on July 31, but authorities have accused him of being irresponsible as the protests would breach coronavirus lockdown regulations which prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people.

Ngarivhume’s protests call has been enthusiastically taken up by Zimbabweans who have popularised the hashtag #ZanuPFMustGo on Twitter. Many Zimbabweans say they will demand the fall of Mnangagwa’s regime, which is accused of stealing elections, unchecked corruption and plunging the country into its worst economic crisis in over a decade.

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