Bulawayo police are holding two men after they allegedly blocked President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade in Bulawayo on Friday.

Mugabe, whose motorcade usually averages 12 vehicles, was travelling in an extended convoy with cabinet ministers attending a graduation ceremony at the National University of Science and Technology.

Bulawayo police spokesman Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said Newton Mlotshwa, 58, and Prayer Gavhanga, 27, had been charged with “disobeying lawful instructions from a uniformed police officer”.

Mugabe’s motorcade was hurtling towards NUST along the Bulawayo-Esigodini Road, opposite Ascot Shopping Centre, shortly before 11AM when it was brought to a brief halt.

Inspector Moyo said: “Gavhanga, who was driving, was rude and refused to clear the road for the motorcade.

“Officers took the vehicle ignition keys to stop him from fleeing. While they were doing so, the vehicle’s owner, Mlotshwa, who was a passenger, rushed to a police bike and removed the bike’s ignition keys demanding to be given his keys back.

“In the process of restraining him, a police officer was assaulted. Mlotshwa will be additionally charged with assault.”

Inspector Moyo said motorists should co-operate with the police, adding: “This incident could have been avoided. It was public knowledge that the President was coming to Bulawayo for the NUST graduation and motorists should just follow police directives.”

Mlotshwa and Gavhanga are due before magistrates on Monday.