Zim ex-ruling party activist uses F-word to insult Mugabe

2016-07-01 12:26

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Harare - What happens when you say "President Robert Gabriel Mugabe F*** you" when you're giving a press conference in Harare?

Former ruling party activist Acie Lumumba is about to find out, say Zimbabweans on social media.

The ex-Zimbabwe Youth Council chairperson used the expletive when launching a new political party in the Zimbabwean capital on Thursday, shocking many in a country where you can be arrested for merely criticising the 92-year-old president. His direct taunt won him a smattering of applause - and lots of questions.

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In the past couple of months, Lumumba has won the grudging respect of some because of his willingness to speak out against those in power. Stills from a sex tape taken from his phone published in the national press last month were widely seen as an attempt to silence him.

That hasn't happened yet. But his Thursday press conference will likely bolster sneaking suspicions that he is something of a loose cannon.

The former editor of the state-controlled Chronicle @Mathuthu said in a tweet: "So Mr Lumumba thinks using the F word against anyone, let alone a sitting President, is progressive politics?"

Tweeted @ethelchiwara: "Young man needs advisors. You can't be a politician with such words no matter how angry."

So why did Lumumba use the F-word, many on Twitter are asking. After all, he's confirmed that although he's launched a party (VivaZimbabwe, it's called) he doesn't want to be a presidential candidate. He says he was too involved in corruption during his time in Zanu-PF.

Some have suggested he wants to be "a martyr" and get himself arrested. There have been calls - mostly from those close to ZanuPF - for his arrest: a report that he has already been questioned by police has not been confirmed.

But analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya wrote on Twitter: "Lumumba uses his former masters' language which is bad. He can use better language to state his dislike of the system in a democratic manner."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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