Artisan jailed 6 months for Mugabe insult

BULAWAYO - A Gwanda man was on Friday jailed six months by a Gwanda Magistrate for insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Clemence Zikhali — an artisan at Colleen Bawn Cement factory — was slapped with a six-month jail term by magistrate Sheila Nazombe for using obscene language against Mugabe’s private parts.

Zikhali, who was drinking beer at a bar in Spitskop high density suburb in Gwanda, had a quarrel on Monday with a Zanu PF supporter before he insulted Mugabe.

The unnamed Zanu PF supporter went on to report the matter to the police.

Zikhali was arrested on Tuesday.

Zikhali’s cousin Buletsi Nyathi, who is also the mainstream MDC Matabeleland South youth secretary for information said: “As a family we are just shocked with the sentence, it’s so disturbing. We have since instructed our lawyers to appeal against the sentence.”

Zikhali’s lawyer Norman Mangena of Coghlan and Welsh, declined to comment saying he was driving, but was unreachable later.

It is an offence under Zimbabwe’s tough security laws to undermine or insult the President and Mugabe is the only ruler Zimbabweans have ever known since the country’s independence from Britain 33 years ago.

A number of Zimbabweans have been arrested over the past few years for insulting Mugabe.

Last year Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), said it was worried by the rate at which State security agents were arresting citizens on charges of insulting Mugabe.

The 88-year-old remains one of the most protected persons under the country’s laws. - Pindai Dube

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