Churches visit jailed protesters

HARARE - Church leaders on Friday visited victims of State brutality in hospital and jail, as they expressed concern over the continued victimisation of citizens by President Robert Mugabe’s government.

However, their visit to Chikurubi Maximum Prison (Chikurubi) — where anti-Mugabe protesters were held on allegations of perpetrating public violence — was met with resistance by authorities who later only allowed one church leader to visit one prisoner.

Zimbabwe Divine Destiny leader, Ancelimo Magaya, who made the visits to Avenues Clinic and the prison together with about 10 other church representatives, said the State brutality and heavy handedness was a sad development.

“At Chikurubi they told us that we should have got clearance first as we were a group. So I was the only one who was allowed in to see one person,” he said.

“I saw Linda Masarira,” Magaya said, adding that “she said she wanted to see justice take its course”.

“It’s saddening to see government continue to victimise its people. We are saddened that former liberators have become perpetrators of cruelty,” he said.

This comes as opposition MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was a week ago barred from visiting anti-Mugabe protesters incarcerated at Chikurubi.

Despite his visit being a scheduled one, the long-time Mugabe rival was told by prison wardens to seek clearance first as he was not an ordinary person.

Magaya said: “We want to warn government to respect the Constitution”, adding that “we are doing these visits in line with the biblical mandate where Jesus said I was sick and you never visited me and I was in prison and you never came to see me”.

He gave 92-year-old Mugabe an ultimatum to call for national dialogue or the church will push for his impeachment.

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