Urgent Action Update: Activist, Opposition Members Await Trial (Zimbabwe: UA 34.19)

April 16, 2019

Activist Rashid Mahiya and opposition Members of Parliament Charlton Hwende and Joanna Mamombe are awaiting trial on the charge of ‘subverting a constitutional government’. The charge attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison. All three have been released on bail and are awaiting trial.



  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 34.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Munhumutapa Building
Corner Sam Nujoma / Samora Machel
Harare, Zimbabwe
Email: [email protected]
H.E. Ambassador Ammon. M. Mutembwa
Embassy of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202 332 7100 I Fax: 202 483 9326
E-Mail: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Your Excellency President Mnangagwa,

I am concerned with the trumped-up charges against Rashid Mahiya, Joanna Mamombe and Charlton Hwende.

All three have been charged with ‘subverting a constitutional government’ which attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison in an ongoing government crackdown on human rights defenders, activists and opposition members. The charges are in connection with a three-day national shutdown called for by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on 14-16 January in protest against a hike in fuel prices in Zimbabwe.

Rashid Mahiya, an activist and Chairperson of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition group was arrested on 26 February. Joanna Mamombe, the youngest female Member of Parliament (MP) with the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change Alliance(MDC-A), was arrested on 2 March while attending a parliamentary workshop. Charlton Hwende, an MDC Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana was arrested on 5 March upon arrival at the airport in Harare after being out of the country since 21 December 2018 for medical treatment. Rashid was granted bail on 7 March and Charlton got bail on 8 March whilst Joanna was granted bail on 9 March.

They are awaiting trial.

I call on you to ensure that the charges against Rashid Mahiya, Joanna Mamombe and Charlton Hwende are dropped immediately; end the crackdown on human rights defenders, activists and opposition members in Zimbabwe and ensure full respect for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and that the judicial system is not misused to persecute perceived opponents of ZANU PF, the ruling party.

Yours sincerely,


URGENT: Children seeking asylum in the U.S. are being denied their human rights based on their nationality — help ensure that all girls and boys fleeing violence can seek safety.