Man charged for insulting Mugabe

HARARE - A Bindura man who said President Robert Mugabe read the wrong speech at the opening of a new session of Parliament because he was too old, has been charged for denigrating the 91-year-old leader.

James Mwaya, 28, of Chipadze high-density suburb, told a Zanu PF councillor during a heated altercation that Mugabe had repeated an address he gave to the legislature because he had lost control of his faculties because of advanced age.

Mwaya allegedly told the Zanu PF councillor: “Mugabe akura haachazvikwanisa. Achembera, ndosaka akaverenga wrong speech. (Mugabe is old, he can no longer cope with the rigours of the presidential office. He is too old, that is why he read a wrong speech).”

Apparently, the veteran leader read the 25-minute-long speech through to the end, apparently unaware that he was delivering the same text he presented during his State-of-the-Nation Address a month earlier.

George Charamba, the presidential spokesperson, said the mix-up happened in the former guerilla leader’s secretarial office.

Mwaya was charged with contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for allegedly insulting or undermining the authority of the President.

He pleaded not guilty to contravening the law.

Mwaya, who has retained Ernst Jena of Jena and Associates Legal Practitioners and a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was also accused by the Zanu PF councillor of influencing some youths in the high-density suburb to engage in opposition politics.

He further accused Mwaya of disrupting Zanu PF development programmes in the area.

Mwaya staunchly denied the charge during two nights of intense interrogation at Chiwaridzo Police Station and later on at Bindura CID Law and Order Section where his warned and cautioned statement was recorded, according to his lawyer.

He was quizzed about his political affiliation and other issues which were extremely personal and confidential, the Daily News was told.

The case was transmitted to the Bindura Magistrates’ Courts where Mwaya was released without formally appearing in court after State prosecutors referred the docket to the prosecutor-general’s office to secure authority to proceed with the matter.

Police said they would proceed by way of summons.

Zimbabwe’s highest court has declared unconstitutional the criminal code which makes it a crime to insult the president.

In a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court ruled that prosecutors should not be overzealous about charging people who comment about Mugabe “in drinking halls and other social places.”

Under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, a person could be jailed for up to a year or fined $100 for insulting the president.

Mwaya is just the latest of dozens of officials charged under the law.

One was arrested for labelling Mugabe a dictator who ruled by the sword and another was jailed for calling him thick-headed.

Mugabe has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980.

A new Constitution approved in a March 2013 referendum imposed greater checks on presidential powers, imposed greater socio-economic rights and civil liberties.

Comments (21)

Chokwadi chinorwadza!!!

Chad - 9 October 2015

Does anyone disagree with what the young man said? I think the police and CID should be ashamed of themselves for troubling the young man. Mugabe's head should be examined, no normal person wants to work at 91, that's insane!!!!

misty - 9 October 2015

LERAN TO RESPECT GOD-GIVEN LEADERS LIKE HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT R.G. MUGABE.

JOHNSON MAKONI - 9 October 2015

Engaging in opposition politics is a crime? Is this North Korea. What next a Marxist Theocracy where Mugabe is God. Mugabe will not appoint a successor simply because he believes he will not die and secondly because dictators do not appoint successors

Nooshie - 9 October 2015

VANHU NGATIDZIDZE KUSHANDA NAMAOKO EDU KUMUNDA KWETE KUDA KUNGOPIWA ZVINHU NEVARUNGU MAHARA .MUCHATITENGESERA NYIKA YEDU NEKUDA KWENYU ZVINHU IKOKO

JOHNSON MAKONI - 9 October 2015

TO YOU CHRISTIANS ALL OVER,THE BIBLE IS VERY CRYSTAL-CLEAR {RESPECT MUTUNGAMIRI WENYIKA YAKO UGOMUNAMATIRAZVE}.

JOHNSON MAKONI - 9 October 2015

my Aunty Morgan just got an awesome six month old Nissan Pathfinder SUV just by working from a macbook... go to website w­w­w­.j­o­b­s­c­u­t­7­.c­o­mOpen The Link

brend atrice - 9 October 2015

Lets keep it on our hrts tht this man called president is too hold.

willo - 10 October 2015

This prosecution is but another clear example showing how intolerant Mugabe is of any form of genuine opposition. Yet Joice Mujuru has been publicly accused of planning to overthrow Mugabe, meeting with foreign agents and being totally disloyal to the party yet somehow and to everyone's astonishment she still manages to avoid arrest, detention or any formal investigation into her activities all of which are extremely serious? This must surely tell everyone that Mujuru and her Gamatox team are nothing but total frauds and that their slogan "People First" is nothing but a CIO ploy designed to fool the poor innocent people of this country into thinking and believing that they are opposition in the fight against Mugabe. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hokoyo.

Napoleon - 10 October 2015

This is completely unfair.Why should one be arrested for his opinion and furthermore who in his sober sense of mind would disagree with the young man's assessment.

MKOZVODO - 10 October 2015

ko Itai Dzamara wakazouya here

POISON TESTER - 11 October 2015

picture this one: mugabe iduzvi rakawora rinoteverwa nemazinhunzi egreen nehonye, avo ndivo vese vanomusapota. grace mugabe kana uchizvirenga izvi uchafadza chaunge uchiti amai vako vasura, kana urikufunga kuti uchatonga zimbabwe after mugabe aenda you`ll be in for a surprise. not only are we going to hunt you down but zvese zvawakaba tirikutora. tikakubata tichatanga takurova nenyoro tozokupfuudza sezvakaitwa cecil the lion. kana wakangwara chifano gadzirira kuenda kumalaysia nekuti muzimbabwe haumugara kana tave kutonga. musatanyoko!! zihure rinemhata inofamba ichisura segudo radya chibage chakashisha.

lawrence madziva - 12 October 2015

tese tinozviziva kuti mujuru izanu, tsvangirayi akabatana naye otaura mascrets ese e mdc anenge amama.

lawrence madziva - 12 October 2015

Zimbabwe Styled Justice. . . . . . . TELL THE TRUTH AND GET LOCKED UP. ! To think that thee idiots want to take over the United Nations. !

Edith Carvellette - 12 October 2015

for all you blind people there is no god ,haven or hell

jack - 13 October 2015

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