Zimbabwe booksellers released

2012-01-24 18:05

Special Report

Harare - Two booksellers arrested for selling the autobiography of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have been released on free bail, the premier's party said on Tuesday.

"The two co-directors of a Victoria Falls bookshop who were arrested at the weekend on charges of selling President Tsvangirai's memoirs At the Deep End, were released on free bail on Monday," the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said in a statement.

"The state made a u-turn in the court on Monday claiming that the two, who are owners of Rosepet Bookshop, should not have been arrested but instead the company should have been brought to court to answer charges of undermining the authority of the president."

Sinikiwe Mutore and Mlamuli Mabhena, co-directors of the bookshop in the resort town of Victoria Falls, were arrested at the weekend for selling Tsvangirai's autobiography which was published last year.

They will still have to appear in court on March 23, as representatives of the bookshop.

The MDC said "police have gone on a crackdown on President Tsvangirai's book after it was successfully sold across the country and outside Zimbabwe".

"Bookshops in Harare that are selling the copies are being asked by the police to show receipts of where they purchased the books from," the MDC said.

The party claimed that police planted subversive material in 10 books which were confiscated.

"One of the subversive materials has a list of 11 Zanu-PF officials, including President Mugabe, which claims that they should be eliminated," the MDC said.

Tsvangirai formed a coalition government with President Robert Mugabe in February 2009 after failed elections the year before.

Despite the unity government, Tsvangirai's supporters - including top ministers - are routinely arrested and attacked.

The unity government is meant to oversee the drafting of a new constitution that will lead to fresh elections, but the process is running nearly two years behind schedule.

Read more on:    morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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