Zimbabwe police on Thursday dropped charges against a man who allegedly insulted President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe’s successor, in a Facebook post, lawyers said.
Munyaradzi Shoko, a well-known critic of Mnangagwa, was held after he posted statements on Facebook saying the president’s name was “generally associated with evil and devilish deeds.”
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda said Shoko was detained at Harare central police station on Wednesday and charged with criminal nuisance.
Shoko, who heads the pressure group Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans Association, was also charged with public violence for allegedly taking part in protests by opposition supporters after July 30 elections.
At least six people were killed after soldiers opened fire at the protests.
“At court today they dropped the criminal nuisance and public violence charges,” Mafunda said, alleging Shoko was assaulted by police while detained.
The police were not immediately available to comment.
Mngangagwa won the presidential election, though the results are being challenged in court.
The government and security forces have been accused of a violent crackdown on MDC opposition supporters since the vote.
Mngangagwa succeeded long-time ruler Mugabe who was ousted in November 2017 following a brief military takeover.