Mon, 17 Jun 2019

Five activists accused of plotting to overthrow the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe have appeared in a court, Aljazeera reports.

They were arrested on Monday at the airport in Harare when they were returning from a foreign trip.

Police, according to lawyers, said the activists had attended a workshop in the Maldives run by a group that trained people "how to mobilise citizens to turn against the government and to engage in acts of civil disobedience", said a report by Voice of America.

The five have been charged with the plot to subvert a constitutional government.

The arrests came just a few days after the state-owned Herald newspaper claimed that Zimbabwean organisations with links to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance had "in recent months been hard at work laying the groundwork for civil unrest set to be unleashed next month".

The newspaper also said that foreign organisations were co-ordinating workshops and training in Zimbabwe, the region and overseas "to effect illegal regime change".

Reacting to the arrests, Southern Africa Director for Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga tweeted, saying that the development undermined the country's efforts to create a conducive environment for business.

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