HARARE – Zimbabwean police on Tuesday arrested Stendrick Zvorwadza, a pro-democracy campaigner and charged him with undermining authority or insulting President Robert Mugabe.
He was arrested by detectives from Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order Section.
Zvorwadza, who is the chairperson of the National Vendors Union Zimbabwe, was picked up during a mid-afternoon raid at his Harare residence. He has been charged with undermining the authority or insulting the president as defined in Section 33 (2) (a) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
The ZRP officers claimed that the 47-year-old Zvorwadza, who is represented by Roselyn Hanzi, Jeremiah Bamu and Agnes Muzondo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, undermined authority of or insulted Mugabe when he granted an interview to Zimbabwe’s leading daily newspaper, the Daily News, in which he stated that the 93-year-old Zanu PF leader was daydreaming, old and a dead man walking.
In the October 9 article, the Daily News quoted Zvorwadza dismissing an edict issued by Mugabe at a Zanu PF conclave in Harare on Saturday that government would drive out some informal sector traders from Harare’s Central Business District.
Zvorwadza said: “As informal sector we will not listen to such nonsense, we will stay in the streets. He is daydreaming. I bet with my head, the president has no capacity to remove vendors from streets. He must depart from this issue of daydreaming. Mugabe must appreciate the role of the informal sector. Zimbabweans must understand that Mugabe is old and he is a dead man walking.”
Zvorwadza spent Tuesday night in custody at Harare Central Police Station.