Madzore in police custody over Mugabe 'insult'

HARARE - A youth leader in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is in police custody after allegedly making insulting remarks about President Robert Mugabe.

MDC Youth Assembly chairman Solomon Madzore was summoned to Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order unit on Wednesday. Upon his arrival at the police station yesterday morning, he was told to report to Bindura Police Station to answer charges of insulting Mugabe.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said Madzore had been summoned to the Law and Order section of Bindura police to answer charges of breaching insult laws by denigrating the President.

“He insulted the president at a rally in Mushumbe last weekend,” Charamba told the Daily News.

Charles Kwaramba, Madzore’s lawyer said the youth leader has been charged with alleged remarks made at a rally held at Mushumbe in Mbire on Saturday and is expected to appear in court soon.

He said police could not spell out the exact details.

Madzore is to be charged under a law that makes it illegal to “undermine the authority of or insult the president,” the police spokesperson said.

People convicted under the law in question normally receive a short jail or community service sentence, or a fine.

Madzore is just the latest MDC political leader to be charged under the law, with arrests ranging from labelling Mugabe a dictator who ruled by the sword and others who were jailed for calling him thick-headed.

The fiery youth leader also faces murder charges in connection with the Glen View killing of police Inspector Petros Mutedza who was murdered at a pub in the working class suburb.

Madzore, who stayed in remand prison for more than 400 days on the murder charge, is currently out on bail.

Mugabe has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980, and is squaring off with Tsvangirai in crucial forthcoming polls. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor

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