Concern for Zimbabwean minister arrested for calling Mugabe a liar
A Zimbabwean minister arrested allegedly for accusing President Robert Mugabe of lying has not been heard from since, a lawyer from his party said Saturday, dpa reported.
"By midnight Friday, I had gone to more than five police stations," said Selby Hwacha, of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), but there was no information about him.
An official at Harare central police station on Friday confirmed to the German Press Agency dpa that Jameson Timba, the secretary for international relations and minister in the premier's office, was being held there.
"We have been holding Jameson Timba since Friday afternoon. He might appear in court on Monday," the official said.
Timba's arrest Friday has been linked to the publication of an article last week in which he was quoted as saying that Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party had lied about the outcome of a summit held by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The weekly Sunday Times reported clashes at the meeting between Mugabe and South African President Jacob Zuma, the SADC mediator on Zimbabwe.
Timba was facing charges of "undermining the president by calling Mugabe a liar" and the party now feared for his life, MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said.
The arrest of Timba is likely to further strain relations in the fragile coalition government formed more than two years ago and led by Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
The two have already clashed on a number of issues, including the appointment of senior officials and democratic reforms. Mugabe is calling for elections to end the coalition government, while Tsvangirai wants a new constitution first.