Mwonzora's Mugabe insult case deferred

HARARE - The Constitutional Court has deferred MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora’s case, in which he is accused of calling President Robert Mugabe a “goblin” during a Nyanga rally held in 2009.

Mwonzora approached the Constitutional Court, challenging the constitutionality of the charges, arguing that the State was infringing upon his right to freedom of expression.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday indefinitely postponed the matter.

“Matter is postponed sine die (indefinitely) to enable the parties to consider whether the words allegedly uttered by the applicant constitute a contravention of Section 33 (2) of the Code,” Chidyausiku said.

He further directed parties to file supplementary heads if they so wished, within 20 days, before the matter is set down for a hearing.

According to State papers, Mwonzora is accused of insulting Mugabe by calling him a “goblin”.

He allegedly said that he had “seen” Mugabe bathing with a towel on his waist, soap under his armpits and had a long beard.

In the speech, he allegedly castigated bad governance, thieving, the arrest of innocent people and the seizure of property.

Mwonzora is further accused of undermining police authority.

The State claims that during the rally, Mwonzora made statements that ridiculed the police, with a possibility of engendering feelings of hostility towards them.

He allegedly claimed that the police was being used to intimidate people in rural areas to vote for Zanu PF, yet some of the junior officers had torn shoes.

He is alleged to have further said that MDC was being asked to seek permission to hold public gatherings, yet ironically his party was heading the Home Affairs ministry.

This was during a time when the country was being led by an inclusive government.

Mwonzora allegedly said, because of the inclusive government, there was no need for his party to seek permission to hold public meetings.

Prosecutors told the court Mwonzora further said that some of the junior police officers were enjoying the money, buying meat, yet they did not know the source of the funds.

Meanwhile, a Nyamandlovu woman, Jeritha Nkomo, who was also accused of insulting Mugabe is now off the hook.

This was after the State told the court that it was withdrawing charges against her.

Comments (2)

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GALLERYCARTRIDGE - 20 March 2014

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timinabhonzo - 20 March 2014

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