Makomborero Haruzivishe, A court in Zimbabwe has on Tuesday sentenced an opposition activist to 14 months in prison for inciting public violence.
Defence lawyers said Makomborero Haruzivishe was convicted last week on circumstantial evidence, and the MDC Alliance claimed he’s a victim of political persecution.
There was a heavy police presence outside the Harare Magistrates Court as his supporters gathered ahead of the sentencing.
They used the Twitter hashtag #FreeMako and
a video clip of a candlelit vigil held for him on Monday night was posted on Twitter.
Mako is a brilliant, intelligent, courageous, compassionate, strategic, inspiring, creative young man. He’s a voice of the youth, the downtrodden and oppressed; a symbol of resistance; and an unbreakable spirit. That’s why the regime fears him and wants him locked up. #FreeMako pic.twitter.com/mcpSnR3NAJ
— Doug Coltart ✊🏼🇿🇼 (@DougColtart) April 6, 2021
— Stephen Chidhau (@stevecrae) April 6, 2021
— Tapiwanashe Chiriga🇿🇼 (@tapchiriga97) April 6, 2021
— MDC Alliance (@mdczimbabwe) April 6, 2021
The 28-year-old MDC Alliance activist was convicted of inciting public violence and resisting arrest during a skirmish with police officers in Harare last year.
After his 14-month jail sentence was handed down on Tuesday, police stopped defence lawyers from speaking to journalists outside the court.
One reporter was struck and injured on the hand with a police baton
ANTI-VIRUS CURBS FUEL URBAN HUNGER IN ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe – Coronavirus restrictions have exacerbated hunger in urban Zimbabwe,
where at least 2.4 million people are now struggling to meet basic food needs, the United Nations said on Monday.
Living standards have declined drastically among Zimbabwe’s already impoverished urban
communities over the past year, as informal workers have been unable to find jobs due to lockdown measures.
The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 42% of urban households will be
unable to meet their cereal requirements this year, up from 30% in 2019.
“Lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 have dealt a severe blow to poor
urban communities, many of whom were daily wage earners living hand to mouth,” the
WFP said in a statement, citing a government and aid agency report.
Months of travel restrictions have also prevented jobless urban dwellers from seeking seasonal work in rural areas, it added.
“Families will find it hard to put food on the table,” warned WFP country director Francesca Erdelmann in the statement.
“The fortunate ones will skip meals while those without have to go to bed on empty stomachs.”
A sharp increase in prices linked to rampant inflation has compounded the impacts of the pandemic, rendering basic goods unaffordable to many.