Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Chairperson, Mr Rashid Mahiya handed himself to the police yesterday and was been charged with subverting a constitutionally elected government or treason following the 14 – 16 January 2019 stay away. Mahiya will appear in court on the 26th February 2019.

Tonderai Bhatasara of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is attending to his case. Initially the state had preferred to charge him with inciting public violence but after failing to link him to the violence that took place from 14 – 16 January, the state opted to charge him with treason. His arrest follows a sustained attack on the organisation and civil society space with the state spreading unfounded allegations that civil society organizations in Zimbabwe are seized with effecting an illegal regime change. Prior to his arrest members of the security forces ransacked his home abducting his mother and severely assaulting his brother, as they demanded to know his whereabouts. The Coalition demands the urgent and unconditional release of Mahiya, the continued persecution of civil society leaders and human rights defenders by the state has seen a protracted closure of democratic space in Zimbabwe.