SW Radio Africa (London)

4 May 2013

Zimbabwe: Madzore Arrested for Calling Mugabe a 'Donkey'

MDC-T Youth Assembly president Solomon Madzore will spend the weekend in police custody in Bindura, following his arrest Thursday for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe at a party rally in Mushumbe-Mbire, Mashonaland Central.

His lawyer Charles Kwaramba said police accuse Madzore of calling Mugabe a "limping old donkey" who is blocking Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from doing his work in the inclusive government.

Kwaramba said: "The police claim my client told party followers at a rally that Mugabe idhongi rinokamhina ririkutadzisa Tsvangirai kutonga zvakanaka muGNU."

Madzore denies the charges.

On Thursday, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo criticised the MDC-T youth leader who he said "deserves to be arrested," if he criticised the President.

The youth leader is no stranger to arrest. He is currently on bail, after spending over a year in jail on charges of killing police officer Petros Mutedza, along with 28 other MDC activists. All deny the charge.

Madzore also spent 70 days in jail in 2007 on petrol bombing attack charges in the run-up to the 2008 election. The state later dropped those charges, but the activist and others said they had been tortured in custody.

Scores of people have over the years been arrested for ridiculing President Robert Mugabe who turned 89 in February and has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.

When asked if police should arrest people who also insult Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the ZANU PF spokesman said: "There is a difference between a Head of State and a Prime Minister.

"If a man like the Prime Minister goes around the region saying please stop elections and so on, do you think people should not criticise him?"

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