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Zimbabwe arrests journalist, opposition leader amid protests

Zimbabwe police have arrested an opposition leader and a controversial Journalist ahead of anti-government and anti-graft protests planned for 31 July, lawyers said.

Reportedly, the two were arrested separately in Harare in a seemingly coordinated operation.

Speaking on the arrest, Rose Hanzi, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said, “We confirm both Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume are at the law and order section at Harare central police station.

“We don’t have details yet relating to the allegations,” she said, adding that police smashed a glass door to bust into Chin’ono’s house.

A video clip recorded at the journalist’s house showed the shattered glass door, with his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa saying she had received “an SOS that his home had been surrounded by about eight state security agents. They broke the glass at the door and gained entry.”

Either the Government or the police are yet to make an official statement on the arrests.

Chin’ono, 49, is an independent award-winning film documentalist who has previously worked for various international news organisations.

He is openly critical of the Harare administration and regularly posts commentary on social media on political and economic developments in the southern African country.

Ngarivhume is president of a small opposition party, Transform Zimbabwe.

He has called on Zimbabweans to protest against state corruption and the deteriorating economic situation on 31 July.

The date is the second anniversary of general elections that were tainted by accusations of fraud and were won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

You may recall, a day later, troops opened fire on protesters in Harare, killing at least six people, even before the results were announced.

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