By Peter Bolder|
A Harare man has been arrested by police after expressing disgust at the naming of a street after Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace.
“Police arrested Shane Kazado in Harare’s Mabelreign suburb and accused him of undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe in contravention of Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 after the ice cream vendor allegedly passed on some ‘unpalatable’ comments to a colleague who took offence with some comments regarding the naming of a street and a square in honour of President Mugabe, the Zanu PF leader and his wife Grace,” said Kumbirai Mafunda, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) spokesman. “The unidentified complainant who filed a police report at Mabelreign police station reportedly took offence with Kazado’s comments, leading to the arrest of the vendor who was transferred to Harare Central Police Station.”
However, ZLHR member Tarisai Mutangi of Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Attorneys, told the police that the charge of insulting the president could not be sustained. The police later altered the charge and fined Kazado $10 after finding him guilty of being a criminal nuisance.
The public street’s name was changed to ‘Grace Mugabe Way’ this week in an unprecedented move which observers said showed the ailing 91 year-old dictator, the world’s olest ruler, was transferring power to his ambitious 49 year-old second wife Grace. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since independence from Britain in 1980, does not allow any public street to be named after a living being although dead heroes are afforded the honour.
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