Ar­rest for tweeter of ‘Mu­gabe is a goblin’

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

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

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