Woman detained for calling Zanu PF activists ‘Mugabe’s children’
By Tichaona Sibanda
A woman in Bulawayo was on Tuesday detained by the police for calling a group of ZANU PF women activists, ‘Mugabe’s children.’
Tsepiso Mpofu, a 36 year-old member of the MDC-T’s provincial executive in Bulawayo, was picked up at Westpark Cemetary where she was attending a burial ceremony for a deceased relative. She is being detained at Mzilikazi police station.
Mpofu, a well known and fearless political activist, was easily recognized by women dressed in ZANU PF regalia who were also attending a separate burial at Westpark. Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us that eight women in ZANU PF regalia started taunting Mpofu, labelling her as ‘Tsvangirai’s girl.’
The women continued abusing Mpofu telling her ‘uTsvangirai samunika umfazi’ (we gave Tsvangirai a wife) referring to the ex-premeir’s wife, Elizabeth whose father is a high ranking official in Robert Mugabe’s party.
Mpofu responded to the taunts by hitting back and likening her opponents to ‘Mugabe’s children.’ She said: ‘Yebo bantwana ka Mugabe’ (how are you Mugabe’s children).
This incensed the women who rushed to the police to make a report. A team of police details was dispatched to the cemetery where Mpofu was arrested. Police charged her with undermining or insulting the authority of the President.
The police applied the same law that was deemed unconstitutional by the country’s highest court last week. The Constitutional Court said prosecutors should not be overzealous about charging people who comment about President Robert Mugabe, ‘in drinking halls and other social places.’
At least 80 cases have reportedly been filed in recent years under the law. Under Section 33 of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, a person could be jailed for up to a year or fined $100 for insulting the president’s office. SW Radio Africa