Lost activist re-emerges accused of coup plot

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A prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist and nine other opposition members were expected to appear in court Wednesday, charged with recruiting people to undergo military training in Botswana to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Jestina Mukoko, a director of Zimbabwe Peace Project, a non-governmental organisation, was arrested more than two weeks ago, and her whereabouts only emerged Wednesday with police announcing her appearance in court.

Previously, police and other security agencies denied any knowledge of her whereabouts, prompting an international outcry.

But in a statement, police said that the human rights activist, who previously worked as a journalist at a state broadcaster, would appear in court Wednesday for allegedly being involved in recruiting people to undergo military training in Botswana to topple Mugabe.

Zimbabwe has accused neighbouring Botswana of training opposition militants, a charge Gaborone has denied.

Over several months, Mukoko allegedly identified and recruited people – including some police officers – for military training, police said.

They said she was allegedly working in cahoots with the country’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Nine other members of the party were nabbed for similar offences.

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