A Lupane cop has been nabbed for saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa must step aside for failing to address the deepening economic crisis characterised by civil servants’ strike action and fuel shortages among other ills.
The accused, Tyson Hove, 34, — stationed at Lupane Police Station — was arrested on January 3 while drinking at Country Side Bar in Lupane.
According to a police docket gleaned by the Daily News, the accused who was reportedly nabbed by CIO operatives, is being charged with undermining the authority of the president.
“Information received reveals that the accused who was drinking beer in a bar started insulting the president of Zimbabwe saying that he has failed to run the country and should hand over power,” Hove was quoted as having said in the docket.
However, by the time of going to press it could not be independently verified whether the law enforcer had been dragged to court as a result.
Mnangagwa took over from despot former President Robert Mugabe who according to human rights activists saw over a hundred during his rule being hauled before the courts for undermining his authority. His successor is showing no difference. This is despite the fact that Mnangagwa pledged not to follow in the footsteps of his ruthless and no-nonsense former boss.
Since November 2017, almost a dozen across the country have appeared before the courts of law to answer to charges related to insulting the country’s first citizen.
So serious has been the clampdown that even those expressing their views on social media have been affected.
At one point, Harare-based Munyaradzi Shoko, a well-known critic of Mnangagwa, was held after he posted statements on Facebook saying the president’s name was “generally associated with evil and devilish deeds”.
It, however, took the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to secure the release of Shoko who was being charged of criminal nuisance.