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Zimbawe Police Release Booksellers Arrested for Selling PM's Autobiography


Making an about-face, the state said Sinikiwe Mutore and Mlamuli Mabhena were supposed to have been charged in the name of their company for allegedly distributing material denigrating President Mugabe

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday said an increasing number of booksellers are being harassed for selling Mr. Tsvangirai's autobiography, entitled “In At the Deep End.”

The MDC statement followed the release on Monday of the two operators of a Victoria Falls bookshop arrested on the weekend for selling Mr. Tsvangirai’s book.

Sinikiwe Mutore and Mlamuli Mabhena were released late Monday night without bail when the state made an about-face saying the two were not supposed to have been charged in their own names but in the name of their company, Rosepet Bookshop, for allegedly distributing material denigrating President Robert Mugabe.

The two spent the weekend in police custody after their arrest. Their lawyer, Thulani Nkala, said Magistrate Archibald Dingana had postponed the case to March 23.

Political analyst Fambai Ngirande said officials of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF are abusing public resources to discourage sales of the Tsvangirai autobiography.

Mr. Tsvangirai is expected to challenge Mr. Mugabe for the presidency in the next election. He defeated Mr. Mugabe in the first round of the 2008 election, but withdrew before the runoff to protest deadly political violence against his supporters, leading to the creation of the current government of national unity.

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