Apostle Talent Chiwenga has reportedly fled his Harare home in fear of his life because suspected state security agents are allegedly trailing him.
Human Rights Watch’s southern African director Dewa Mavhinga, who said he had spoken to Chiwenga from his hideout, raised the alarm in a statement the weekend.
“(On Friday), Apostle Chiwenga told me by phone that he believes the Zimbabwean authorities have dispatched a team of state agents known as the ‘Ferret team’ to kill him for his activism following several failed attempts over the last two years,” Mavhinga said.
Outspoken street preacher and prominent critic of Zimbabwe’s government, Apostle Talent Chiwenga, has fled his house following heightened surveillance of his church and home in Harare by people in unmarked vehicles.
— Dewa Mavhinga (@dewamavhinga) October 24, 2021
“Apostle Chiwenga has regularly used street sermons in Harare and social media platforms to openly rebuke Zimbabwe’s government for its gross human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, abductions, and torture of activists, rights defenders, and journalists.
“The Zimbabwean authorities should take steps to ensure the security and protection of Apostle Chiwenga and other critics of the government.
“Human rights advocates like Chiwenga should not live in fear for exercising their fundamental rights to free speech.”
He added: “Four confidential sources in the security sector separately told me last week that the authorities are unhappy with Chiwenga and view him as a security threat that should be “neutralised.”
“Three security officers described the ongoing surveillance of Chiwenga’s Harare church and home by people in unmarked vehicles.”
Chiwenga yesterday told Standard People that he was hiding out of the country.
This is not the first time that the preacher, who has established a reputation of attacking government officials, has expressed fears that his life is in danger.