A fiery Zimbabwean cleric, Pastor Patrick Phillip Mugadza, who was arrested in January and spent six weeks in prison for claiming that nonagenarian President Robert Mugabe will die later this year, has claimed he collected a tin of lice to show the head of state just how bad jail life is, according to reports.
Mugadza has been at the forefront of an anti-Mugabe movement that has rocked the nation of almost 16 million people in recent months.
“I had collected lice because I wanted to bring them over just to say Mr President these are your boys in the prison who are just eating people,” the Daily News newspaper quoted the cleric as saying.
The Pastor is reported as saying his time in prison was “nasty”, and claimed he witnessed security guards beating fellow inmates.
Mugadza, however, admitted to have lost the tin containing the lice.
Dubbed the Mugabe-Must-Go pastor, Mugadza made headlines when he chained himself to a pole in a protest against the head of state in April 2016, and later submitted a deposition at the Vatican embassy in the capital Harare asking the Roman Catholic Church to excommunicate Mugabe, who is a Catholic.
The cleric, who was arrested on 13 January, “unlawfully acted in a manner which is likely to create a nuisance” in October by prophesying that Mugabe will die on 17 October 2017.
The #ThisFlag social movement, led by another prominent Zimbabwean Pastor, Evan Mawarire, backed Mugadza while he was in jail, and called for his release.
Reports of violence and political repression have risen significantly in Zimbabwe, as the nation continues to reel from the political crisis that occurred in the aftermath of the presidential elections held in March and June 2008.
Zimbabwean activists who have survived a wave of violence and abductions have urged the international community to stop turning a blind eye to the increasingly violent crackdown on dissenting voices “linked to (no one) else except the government of Zimbabwe”.