June 1, 2011
A Zimbabwean police officer accused of using a toilet reserved for President Robert Mugabe has been jailed for 10 days.
The policeman, identified as Sergeant Alois Mabhunu by a local radio station, was tried and convicted by a police internal court on Tuesday.
He was arrested last month for using the toilet that had been specifically designated for the President during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) held in the second city of Bulawayo early May.
Allegations against Mabhunu were that on May 6, he was on duty at the ZITF where President Mugabe was a guest.
He allegedly rushed to answer the call of nature at a toilet reserved for the 87-year-old leader. Some officers guarding the toilet tried to stop him but failed.
He was arrested the following day. As part of the sentence, Mabhunu was also demoted from his post as a homicide detective and transferred to a remote police post.
The privately owned Radio VOP on Wednesday reported that he had appealed to the police commissioner, General Augustine Chihuri, to overturn the sentence.
Zimbabwe has strict security laws, which make it a serious offence to criticise President Mugabe.