Arrest for tweeter of ‘Mugabe is a goblin’
ZIMBABWEAN police arrested a US citizen yesterday for apparently tweeting that President Robert Mugabe was a “goblin whose wife and stepson bought a Rolls Royce”, lawyers said.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said officers had detained Martha O’Donovan in a dawn raid at her home just weeks after Mugabe appointed a cyber security minister charged with policing social media.
Police confiscated her laptop and transferred O’Donovan, who works for Harare-based Magamba TV, to the city’s central police station.
“The reported offensive and insulting tweet does not make any mention of the president’s name,” ZLHR said.
However ,Mugabe’s stepson with his wife and first lady Grace, Russell Goreraza, is thought to be the only individual to have recently imported two Rolls-Royce vehicles into the country, local media reported.
The British-built cars, both Rolls-Royce Ghosts that sell for around R4-million and have a top speed of 249km/h, are marketed by the manufacturer as “more measured, more realistic” than the R5.5-million Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Grace Mugabe’s son is also reported to have purchased two Range Rover 4X4s, two Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousines and an Aston Martin, while Grace herself is said to have acquired a Rolls-Royce.
Police did not respond to calls for comment.
There have been several arrests in recent years for actions deemed to undermine the president, although no one has ever been convicted.
Two men were arrested separately yesterday after they allegedly said, “I will not vote Zanu-PF and president Mugabe is like a dog”.
“Mugabe created the cyber-security ministry as an attempt to clamp down on social media movements that pose a big threat to his regime ahead of the election,” Bulawayo-based analyst Dumisani Mpofu said.
Mugabe has already been named by Zanu-PF party as its presidential candidate for the 2018 poll.
Zimbabwe has unemployment of more than 90% and rising levels of poverty. – AFP