Harare – The national spokesperson of Zimbabwe’s former freedom fighters has been arrested as President Robert Mugabe tightens his grip on power, a report said on Thursday.
According to NewsDay, Douglas Mahiya handed himself over to the police after several armed men had surrounded his home, while Mugabe met with the country’s former freedom fighters in the capital of Harare.
An unnamed family member claimed that Mahiya’s wife and three children, including a four-month-old baby, were locked inside their house by seven unidentified men who only left them after learning that he had handed himself to the police.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said that Mahiya was being questioned at the Harare police station.
"His lawyer brought him to the police and we are questioning him," Charamba was quoted as saying.
This comes a week after the former freedom fighters slammed the veteran leader.
In a rare public rebuke, a group of war veterans issued a statement last Thursday, in which they slammed Mugabe's "dictatorial tendencies" and accused him of presiding over a declining economy.
The veterans of the country's 1970s liberation war, normally staunch allies of Mugabe, vowed they would not support him if he sought re-election in 2018.
According to reports, the government rebutted the statement, saying it had launched an investigation to establish its origins, and that those behind it would be brought to justice.
Opposition to Mugabe's rule has grown in recent months as the country's economic troubles mount, while his Zanu-PF party is in turmoil over his succession.
Meanwhile, during a meeting with some of the country’s war veterans at the ruling party’s headquarters, Mugabe warned that he would not hesitate to crack the whip against dissidents.
He further stated that there would be fresh elections for war veteran leaders.
”Those who'd authored last Thursday's communique would be punished,” said Mugabe.