Human rights group, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Tuesday disclosed that an unidentified man, who was driving a Black Rhino double-cab vehicle trailed Mukoko who was exercising her right to
freedom of movement around greater Harare city.
ZLHR said while it was not able to ascertain the identity of the unidentified man in the Black Rhino, such cars are known to be owned by, or linked to, state security agents .
ZLHR said similar acts of surveillance targeting human rights defenders in the past have culminated in serious life-threatening security incidents such as abduction and enforced disappearance, and that Mukoko was also a victim of such surveillance that ended up in her being disappeared on 3 December 2008.
The influential human rights organisation, which represented Mukoko when she was abducted by state security agents in 2008 for allegedly plotting to unseat President Robert Mugabe’s administration in 2008, deplored the surveillance of Mukoko which the organisation said amounts to scare tactics aimed at silencing the human rights campaigner from carrying out their legitimate activities in Zimbabwe.
“ZLHR condemns these renewed attacks on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) especially with the anticipation of elections in the near future. ZLHR is also greatly concerned given the upsurge in cases of violence that have been witnessed in the last few weeks in Harare as well as other parts of the country,” said ZLHR in a statement.
ZLHR implored the government to respect the work of human rights defenders in the advancement of human rights promotion and protection in Zimbabwe.
“ZLHR urges the government of Zimbabwe to forthwith take concrete measures to ensure that the security of HRDs is protected at all times in Zimbabwe by fully implementing the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,” said ZLHR.