Harare-based preacher and staunch government critic, Apostle Talent Chiwenga, has reportedly fled his home amid allegations that state security agents are stalking him.
Human Rights Watch’s Southern Africa Director, Dewa Mavhinga who claims to have spoken to Chiwenga from his hideout says state security agents are planning to kill Chiwenga. He said on Saturday:
(On Friday), Apostle Chiwenga told me by phone that he believes the Zimbabwean authorities have dispatched a team of state agents known as the ‘Ferret team’ to kill him for his activism following several failed attempts over the last two years.
Apostle Chiwenga has regularly used street sermons in Harare and social media platforms to openly rebuke Zimbabwe’s government for its gross human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, abductions, and torture of activists, rights defenders, and journalists.
The Zimbabwean authorities should take steps to ensure the security and protection of Apostle Chiwenga and other critics of the government.
Human rights advocates like Chiwenga should not live in fear for exercising their fundamental rights to free speech.
Four confidential sources in the security sector separately told me last week that the authorities are unhappy with Chiwenga and view him as a security threat that should be “neutralised.”
Three security officers described the ongoing surveillance of Chiwenga’s Harare church and home by people in unmarked vehicles.
Chiwenga yesterday told Standard People that he was hiding out of the country.
This is not the first time that Chiwenga has expressed fears that his life is in danger. Last year, he wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa begging for a meeting claiming that his life was in danger as he was being followed by alleged Military Intelligence Department and Central Intelligence Organisation operatives.
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