Police have arrested an MDC-T activist in Chegutu for allegedly phoning senior Government officials and insulting them using abusive language.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the development while addressing members of the African Union observer mission in Harare last week.
She said police were investigating cases of unruly elements that were abusing the social media to peddle hate speech, insults and using vulgar or obscene language.
“An MDC-T activist was arrested last night. He is an airtime vendor based in Chegutu,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.
“He was in the habit of phoning senior Government officials abusing and insulting them using obscene language. If you look at him, you actually feel sorry for him as you can see that he is being used.”
She warned the public against abusing the social technology saying they would be brought to book for such acts.
“We shall continue to monitor the cyberspace to ensure people use it for building relations and progressive intent as well as countering subversive material,” she said.
“We have received some reports to the effect that there is a political party which, in partnership with some non-governmental organisations and some foreign intelligence, is abusing the social media to peddle, use threats and intimidation to senior Government officials of different departments.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba warned election observers against making statements that might incite political violence urging them to adhere to the principles guiding their conduct during the harmonised elections.
She said the observers were supposed to respect sovereignty and international human rights, respect the laws of the country and the authority of the electoral bodies and maintain accuracy of observations and professionalism in drawing conclusions.
“Importantly, we expect observers to avoid making statements which may incite political violence and cause civil unrest,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba encouraged the observers to channel their concerns regarding the conduct of police officers and the force to the commanders and get a response before drawing conclusions.
“Unverified and uninvestigated reports from one entity sometimes end up dominating the observer reports,” she said.
“Hence, we find it necessary to brief organisations and all observers at any time they are in the country to furnish them with accurate information.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said they were aware that some political parties had adopted the attitude and position of bombarding AU, Sadc and international organisations with persistent falsehoods to build certain perceptions.
She said as a law enforcement agent, the police stuck to facts not fabrications.
“We are also aware that some politicians think that when they are in office they can commit crime willy-nilly and they are immune to accountability and prosecution on the grounds of their political standing,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.
She said the political environment continued to be generally peaceful except for minor infringements which manifest through tearing and defacing of political posters and minor assaults where supporters from different political parties fight each other over wearing party regalia.
Such minor cases reported to the police had been dealt with in terms of the law, she said.
“As police, we are indeed, encouraged and pleased to note that the people of Zimbabwe are demonstrating a high degree of political maturity and tolerance.
“It is common to see members of different political parties clad in their regalia interacting and going out about their business harmoniously,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the force was pleased to note that political leaders were not only calling for peace, but enforcing internal discipline to rein in some of their misguided elements.
She commended the people and urged them to continue taking heed of these calls for peace and tolerance by President Mugabe and other political leadership.
She said the ZRP had set up provincial and district special investigating teams to deal with politically motivated violence, intimidation and any cases committed during the election period.
“The idea is to deal promptly with electoral offences,” she said.