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Zimbabwe Police Arrest Bulawayo Writer in Literary-Political Criticism Row

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

Writer Styx Mhlanga said the poem by an unidentified writer who presented it at a cultural center should have mentioned heroes from other regions, including the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, among others

Police in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, released Styx Mhlanga, playwright and resident artist of the Bulawayo Art Gallery on Wednesday following his arrest for criticising a poem that praised President Mugabe and other liberation heroes from outside the Matabeleland region.

Mhlanga said the poem by an unidentified writer should have mentioned heroes from other regions, including the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, among others.

Lawyer Lizwe Jamela told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that the author did not take kindly to the critique and a scuffle ensued.

Mhlanga said he was only offering constructive criticism because poems should unite people and not divide them along tribal lines.

Matabeleland, in the west of Zimbabwe bordering Botswana and South Africa, is the home region of the country's minority Ndebele-speaking people.

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