JOHANNESBURG – AN exiled founding member of Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party has been arrested upon returning home from neighbouring South Africa.
Sox Chikohwero, chairperson of the Global Zimbabwe Forum, had gone to his home country at the invitation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), which recently held its congress.
The reasons behind the arrest could not be ascertained but the Zimbabwe Diaspora Development Chamber (ZDDC) expressed alarm.
“Mr Chikohwero, suffered a lot for Zimbabwe, first as a freedom fighter before founding the MDC (in 1999) with Morgan Tsvangirai,” the ZDDC’s chairman Luke Dzipange Zunga told CAJ News Africa in Johannesburg.
He said Chikowhero was no longer involved in political party decisions or the political arena.
“He (Chikowhero) is a harmless man who has matured and bears no grudge with anybody. He trained in forgiveness and conflict resolutions and is a useful asset to the country (Zimbabwe), if the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) listens to him.”
Zunga appealed on authorities to release Chikohwero.
“He has suffered a lot, and if a trial is required, provide a fair trial without undue influence on his health, which survived tremendous torture,” Zunga said.
He said Chikowhero was not a flight risk.
“He actually has good messages for his country and wants to help develop Zimbabwe from his experiences and many years of economic research.”
Critics accuse the government of president Mnangagwa of crackdowns against opponents since he assumed power in 2017 after a military coup that dislodged Robert Mugabe (now deceased).
– CAJ News