Tsvangirai’s aide arrested

2011-06-25 07:51

Harare – Police arrested a senior minister yesterday after he called President Robert Mugabe a liar, the party of Zimbabwe’s prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, said.

Hard-liners in Mugabe’s party accused Jameson Timba of insulting Mugabe, an offence under sweeping security laws, when he said Mugabe lied over the outcome of a recent regional summit on Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis.

The former opposition party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said in a statement police accused Timba of “undermining the authority of the president”.

Earlier, police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said he had no information on possible charges.

Timba, minister of state in Tsvangirai’s office, was being held late yesterday at the main Harare police station, said party official Nelson Chamisa.

Timba attended the summit and contradicted Mugabe’s account that regional leaders withdrew a damning report on the slow pace of reforms and continuing political violence blamed on Mugabe’s party.

Mugabe insisted the Southern African Development Community, a regional economic and political bloc, cleared his party’s name over allegations reported to the grouping by the chief Zimbabwe mediator, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

Timba gave his account of the summit at the same time as Tsvangirai, who told a rally in central Zimbabwe that Mugabe and his party leaders lied over the summit findings.

Tsvangirai was expected to return to Harare yesterday from a meeting of international jurists in Spain.

Mugabe’s party has also called for his arrest for insulting Mugabe, accusations usually applied to remarks made by political hecklers or those who curse Mugabe in bars or on buses. Those convicted have been fined or briefly jailed.

Tsvangirai’s party described as “strange” that Timba was arrested before the weekend – a reference to a common police practice of jailing suspects over the weekend in filthy, overcrowded cells in frigid winter conditions until courts and judicial offices reopen on Monday.

His arrest signaled another rift in the 28-month coalition formed by regional mediators after violent, disputed elections in 2008.

Tsvangirai’s party said late yesterday it “demands that the minister is treated with the respect he deserves” in accordance with the laws of the country.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.