A Zimbabwean opposition lawmaker has reportedly been arrested after he called President Emmerson Mnangagwa a “dog incapable of leading the country”.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) national executive member, Joel Gabhuza – who is also Binga South lawmaker – was charged with undermining the authority of the president.
Gabhuza allegedly made the remarks during a funeral service in Binga. He criticised the residents for voting for Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF party on July 30.
He blamed Mnangagwa for the country’s economic decline.
“You people are disabled; you have chosen a dog who cannot rule the country. There is no fuel, medication and I had to go to Zambia to buy fuel, which we have used at this funeral. I have said so and if there is anyone who is angered about this I don’t care,” Gabhuza was quoted as saying.
An 86-year-old man, who got offended by the lawmaker’s remarks reportedly walked a distance of about 100km to a police station to open a case against Gabhuza, said the report.
The man accused Gabhuza of insulting Mnangagwa.
Gabhuza was out on a $200 after he appeared in court, the report said.
Gabhuza was not the first Zimbabwean to be charged with insulting the president in recent months.
A court recently freed on bail a man detained for insulting Mnangagwa while testifying before a commission probing the fatal shooting of six civilians during post-election protests in August, AFPreported.
Prosecutors said Wisdom Mkwananzi, 32, pointed at Mnangagwa’s official portrait hung on the wall of a hall where the commission was hearing evidence from witnesses, and said: “I am an orphan because of this man. He killed my parents.”
He accused Mnangagwa of leading Gukurahundi, a government crackdown in the 1980s during which rights groups said at least 20 000 suspected government opponents were killed.
Mkwananzi was released on $200 bail.
Before that, a taxi driver who reportedly called Mnangagwa a “dog” was also freed by a court after the state failed to prove its case.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, David Ndlovu was arrested earlier this year after calling Mnangagwa a dog in the second city of Bulawayo.
Passing judgement in September, magistrate Gladmore Mushowe said the state had failed to prove the allegation.