HARARE (Reuters) – A Zimbabwean court on Monday freed a senior official of a war veterans association on bail but police arrested another official, in what lawyers say is a crackdown by President Robert Mugabe against former allies who have asked him to step down.
Senior officials in the ruling ZANU-PF party are positioning for a post-Mugabe era, which has divided the party along two factions, one backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and another rallying behind First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The secretive Mnangagwa, nicknamed “Crocodile” in the Shona language, held a news press conference with state media reporters on Saturday, where he denied having any presidential ambition and re-affirmed his loyalty to 92-year-old Mugabe.
Douglas Mahiya, information secretary of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), which backs Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe, was released on $300 bail.
Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe refused a request by state prosecutors to keep Mahiya in detention for another 48 hours while they appealed the court decision to free him.
Dozens of anti-riot police lined outside the court house wielding batons and AK-47 assault rifles.
The association of former liberation war fighters, who have acted as a backbone of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party since independence from Britain in 1980, last month accused him of running down the southern African state, eliminating rivals and being divisive in politics and manipulative in general.
Outside the Harare Magistrates Court, police arrested Victor Matemadanda, the secretary general of the ZNLWVA as he attended Mahiya’s hearing, along with dozens of other war veterans.
Matemadanda will face the same charge levelled against Mahiya of insulting and undermining Mugabe’s authority, which carries a jail term of up to one year upon conviction, his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told Reuters.
Police have up to 48 hours to take Matemadanda to court.
Outspoken chairman of the ZNLWVA, Chris Mustvangwa, who was fired from his job as cabinet minister and from the ruling ZANU-PF party last month, also attended Monday’s court session, alongside former vice president Joice Mujuru.
Political analysts say Zimbabwe could descend into chaos if Mugabe suddenly died without resolving the succession issue. Mugabe has previously accused the influental military of supporting different candidates to succeed him.
HARARE—A Zimbabwean activist was arrested Friday for allegedly mocking President Robert Mugabe over a stumble that almost toppled him at a summit in India this week.
Tendai Musonza of the opposition ...
HARARE - Already under immense pressure from his ruling Zanu PF’s deadly factional and succession wars, President Robert Mugabe now stands accused of violating the country’s Constitution by appointing a ...
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has hinted at the possible arrest of ousted Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa for alleged embezzlement of finances which were donated towards the party's congress ...
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp deliberately, her parents said, ahead of an appeal hearing in which prosecutors are seeking to overturn a South African ...
HEADS of British multinational companies have made startling disclosures that appeared to suggest they were comfortable with the level of corruption in Zimbabwe, saying sleaze in the country was insignificant ...
The South African Supreme Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision to find Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder by overturning a lower court’s verdict of culpable homicide has important implications for the ...
Depeche Mode are back, releasing their 14th studio album which the British synth-pop musicians describe as “bleak”. The Syrian conflict and rise of nationalism in Europe are cited by the band as inspiration for their […]
After a long wait, Drake’s next project, “More Life,” is finally releasing on Saturday. Originally believed to be an Apple Music exclusive, it’s now looking like the playlist will also be available on other streaming […]
Rick Ross released his new album “Rather You Than Me” Thursday and took some shots at Birdman and Nicki Minaj. In the song, “Idols Become Rivals,” the MMG star dissed rapper Birdman for not paying his artists […]