Zimbabwean crackdown: what you need to know about the protests, arrests and global outrage

A tweet by a government official, Nick Mangwana, further angered many after he said no-one is above the law in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe is making global news headlines as citizens face arrest for protesting against alleged corruption by the government.

This is what you need to know:

Why are people protesting?

Zimbabweans took to the streets to protest against alleged corruption and the country’s weak economy. The protests coincided with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s second term in office.

Among the protesters was award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga. She called for the for the release of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono during the protests.

Dangarembga was arrested from Harare’s upmarket suburb of Borrowdale and was released on bail on Saturday, according to Al Jazeera.


At least 11 people were arrested on Friday along with Dangarembga. They have also since been released. They include Fadzayi Mahere, lawyer and spokesperson from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.

Who is Hopewell Chin’ono and why is he making headlines?

Chin’ono is an investigative journalist. BBC reports that he was arrested last week and was charged with inciting public violence after he exposed alleged corruption by the government regarding the procurement of coronavirus supplies.

He live-streamed his arrest and shared the video on Facebook. It is no longer available on the platform.

The publication reports that the video shows the confrontation between the journalist and police.

Global response 

UK ambassador Melanie Robinson told Al Jazeera that the abductions and arrests of people who are exercising their rights was concerning.

The US embassy also spoke out against the arrests. It said government should have arrested the culprits and not the whistle blowers.

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