Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) leader Mqondisi Moyo says human rights violations and state-sponsored persecution of political activists is worse under President Emmerson Mnangagwa than the late Robert Mugabe.
Moyo has been in hiding since 12 March claiming that he is afraid of being abducted by State agents after leading MRP activists in a surprise protest outside Bulawayo Central police station days before.
The MRP activists, nine of whom were arrested on public violence charges, were protesting the alleged harassment and intimidation of their leader.
They were detained at Khami maximum prison for over a month and were only released on bail a fortnight ago by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa.
In an interview with The Standard, Moyo, a former civil servant who said he had been arrested over a dozen times since the formation of the party in January 2014, said:
I think Mnangagwa’s era is even worse than that of Mugabe. So many arrests of our members have happened during Mnangagwa’s era more than Mugabe’s era. He is even worse than Mugabe. He has exposed his true colours.
Moyo claimed state security agents have also been visiting his relatives asking about his whereabouts. But he will not run away from politics as he believes it is his calling. Moyo said:
I think I have been arrested over 17 times and in all the arrests, police had never come to my house at night as was the case on March 10.
It was a first; it was unique and I feel that those people either wanted to kill me or kidnap me.
To this day, they continue visiting the residential homes of my relatives interrogating them about my whereabouts.
They have not given up on my persecution, but whether they kill me or not, the seed has already been planted.
Human rights watchdogs have recorded countless rights violations since Mnangagwa assumed office and dissenters have been jailed for months without trial for violating non-existent laws.