By Mpedzegwa Wamanava
Prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said Zimbabweans are beginning to yearn for the Robert Mugabe era as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule has become more ruthless than the country’s late long-serving founding leader.
Mtetwa made the remarks while speaking on South African broadcaster’s e.tv Checkpoint on Tuesday evening.
She said she was not caught up in the euphoria that engulfed the nation when Mugabe was hounded out of office by the military in November 2017.
“Everybody thought that no one would take us down the Mugabe route again but people are becoming nostalgic for Mugabe now which is quite ironic,” said Mtetwa
“Nobody ever thought someone would come in and be worse than what Robert Mugabe was,” added Mtetwa, “I did not have the same excitement that most people had, so I am one of the few people who did not even go out to the streets.”.
Reports indicate that since Mnangagwa came to power on the back of the coup, less than three years ago, more people have been charged with treason than during Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
Mtetwa was recently barred by Harare Magistrate Ngoni Nduna from representing his client Hopewell Chin’ono for scandalising the court of Zimbabwe by posting court proceeding on Facebook.
Mtetwa however disowned the Facebook account which she said was being run by her fans.
Chin’ono, an award winning journalist who exposed corruption in president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has been languishing in jail for a couple of weeks after being denied bail three times in a row.
Another prominent politician and opposition MP Job Sikhala was arrested last week from his hide out and is facing charges of inciting public violence for urging citizens to protest against rampant human rights abuses and corruption.
Many other opposition members are incarcerated in different jails dotted around Zimbabwe, including a Masvingo MDC A councillor Godfrey Kurauone and Ngarivhume, leader of Transform Zimbabwe party.
More than a dozen union leaders, activists and MDC A youth members are in hiding after police indicated intention to ‘interview’ them.