Social Scene

The hug that Joana Mamombe was craving for while in jail

AFTER spending close to a week at Chikurubi Prison following her arrest in Nyanga, MDC Alliance MP for Harare West, Joana Mamombe, was left craving for her mother’s hug.

She missed her supporters too, and thanks them for their support during her detention.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the avalanche and outpouring of support 👏🏽 that I received from all of you during my time in detention. I thank my Family & Friends, our Party MDC, #HarareWest Constituency members, ordinary Zimbabweans, the various diplomatic institutions, civic organizations for standing with me during this moment,” said Mamombe, who at 25 is the youngest legislator in Parliament.

She continued: “This solidarity kept me believing in our lawful and just struggle. I am humbled and emboldened by the level of support that I received from you guys! 

“I am happy that through the efforts of my brilliant team of lawyers, Obey Shava & Jeremiah Bamu, I was admitted to bail after spending a week in cells and have now been reunited with my family. #GodIsInIt #StruggleContinues.”

Mamombe is out on $3,000 bail which was granted by the High Court. She will appear in Court on the 19th of March.

(Photo: Kudzai Chiwanza (Joana’s mother) & Joana, just outside the Chikurubi Prison). Credit: Joana Ruvimbo Mamombe)

Joana Mamombe becomes the second woman in post-independent Zimbabwe to be charged with subversion. If convicted, the charge carries up to 20 years in prison without the option of a fine.

In 2009, Zimbabwe Peace Project executive director Jestina Mukoko was abducted by State security agents after her NGO was accused of recruiting youths for military training with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Jestina Mukoko being escorted to court, March 2009

The Zimbabwe  Peace Project had reportedly compiled one of the most detailed records of thousands of incidents of murder, assault, torture, arson and so on, and who the perpetrators were, following the violence unleashed on MDC supporters by the Mugabe regime in 2008.

On 21 September 2009, the Zimbabwe Supreme Court ordered a permanent stay of criminal proceedings against Mukoko. Amnesty International welcomed the decision, commenting that the charges were widely believed to have been trumped up by the Mugabe government as part of a wider strategy to silence perceived political opponents.

In October 2018, the High Court ordered the State to pay $150 000 to Jestina Mukoko as compensation for her abduction and torture which she suffered at the hands of State Security agents in that December 2008 ordeal.

While Mamombe’s ordeal pales into oblivion when compared with Mukoko who wa sheld at an unknown location and tortured for close to 40 days, activists still worry at the way the Zimbabwe government treats those who criticize the leadership. — Source: ZOOMZimbabwe

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