17 April 2014 16.30 hours
Jacob Ngarivhume, the leader of Transform Zimbabwe, reports that members of his party have been detained by the Tsholotsho police on trumped up charges of disturbing the peace by distributing flyers without police permission. Mr Ngarivhume has also been detained by the police, who are awaiting “instructions from the CIO”. He denied any wrong-doing and expressed his disappointment that police continue to abuse their powers and harass those working peacefully towards national renewal and recovery based on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. He challenged to police to conduct themselves in a non-partisan and professional manner, and live up to their Constitutional duty to protect all citizens irrespective of their gender, ethic origin, or political affiliation.
Transform Zimbabwe have recently been touring the south of the country and meeting the people to promote their message of transformation. According to their flyer, their main aim is to create a new culture of politics based on strong and principled leadership. The irony is that their call for good governance and respect for the rule of law has been met with their illegal detention and interrogation. Transform Zimbabwe also promises a path to prosperity based on a more conducive investment climate to create jobs within by more inclusive, competitive and market-driven economy. Empowerment is seen in terms of making sure that all children, without exception, receive an education.
Since Transform Zimbabwe has sought police permission for all its meetings, the harassment of Mr. Nyarivhume and members of Transform Zimbabwe suggests that the groundswell of support for the new party is fast gathering momentum. Mr Ngarivhume, the founder of Prayer Network Zimbabwe and a committed Christian, called on the government to act with probity and goodwill in order to engage meaningfully with its international development partners who have lifted most of their restrictive measures. A good start would be the unconditional release of members of Transform Zimbabwe to celebrate the Zimbabwe’s day of Independence.