Lumumba: Sex tape won’t silence me

A FORMER Zanu PF youth leader, who's become a vocal critic of President Robert Mugabe's government, has said he won't be silenced in the wake of a sex tape leak.

Mates fallen out ... Empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao (left) with former pal Acie Lumumba

Mates fallen out … Empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao (left) with former pal Acie Lumumba

Acie Lumumba said the tape had been seized by police during a recent search of his house. The search was conducted without a warrant, he added.

Some stills from the tape were reproduced – partly obscured – on the front of a Harare tabloid daily, which is part of the state-controlled Zimpapers stable.

The leak is widely being seen as punishment for Lumumba having criticised the ruling party and his former boss, Patrick Zhuwao, who is Mugabe’s nephew.

In recent weeks, the former youth council chair has been posting videos critical of Zanu PF to social media with the hashtag #DigDeeper.

Intimate pictures

In a post to Facebook, Lumumba wrote: “When I left Zanu PF and spoke out, I knew that the less intelligent members of the party will come after me, trying to silence me. I was ready.”

“But my family and others whose lives will be affected by the release made no such choice. I am truly sorry that your private lives will now be disclosed.”

He added: “Those who think that a disclosure of my naked body will distract the people of Zimbabwe from their every day troubles are due for a rude awakening…”

“Today people will discuss my sex life, but tomorrow they will again discuss the fact that they have no money, no electricity, no food and no hope.”

There’s been sympathy on social media for Lumumba and his unnamed partner in the wake of the leak.

Former Sunday Mail editor Brezhnev Malaba tweeted: “If you send your goons to search my house without a search warrant, & u “leak” my intimate pictures, that’s not journalism. Disgusting.”

‘More fierce’

Publisher Trevor Ncube of Zimbabwe’s Alpha Media Holdings and South Africa’s Mail and Guardian said in a tweet that he was praying for Lumumba. “This is how they silence us and we must not allow it,” he said.

As cash shortages worsen and hunger bites in Zimbabwe’s rural areas, Lumumba is one of a growing number of Zimbabweans who are using social media to voice their dissent. The most widely-publicised videos have come from Harare pastor Evan Mawarire, who started an online protest called #ThisFlag.

The authorities have previously used sex tapes and pictures to discredit their opponents, notably Roman Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube who was forced to step down after pictures of him with a member of his parish were published by state media in 2007.

A Zimbabwean church leader who spent three weeks in jail at the end of last year for challenging Mugabe with a placard at a ruling party conference was also caught up in an alleged sex sting in January.

Lumumba said: “If you think that the disclosure of these recordings will silence me – guess again. It will make my audience wider and me more fierce.”

 

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