Lumumba prosecution goes ahead

HARARE - Viva Zimbabwe president and former Zanu PF youth leader William Gerald Mutumanje aka Acie Lumumba’s argument that the courts had no right to prosecute him for insulting President Robert Mugabe because the prosecutor-general had not personally authorised the proceedings was thrown out yesterday.

Lumumba is facing charges of undermining the authority of or insulting the president as defined in Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law and appeared before Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe.

Chikwekwe ruled: “When the accused person made his application, the main basis was that the prosecutor-general had not ‘personally’ penned down the letter which was tendered to court as authority for prosecution.

“…However, there is no need at all to nullify or set aside prosecution because of that anomaly. The State can always seek that authority as provided by the Law.

Lumumba was subsequently remanded to July 22 for trial.

“I do not know whether on that day the accused person will proceed to trial or whether he will make a constitutional application,” Chikwekwe added.

His lawyer Arshie Mugiya had argued that a letter authorising the prosecution of his client had not been authored by the prosecutor-general in compliance with procedures.

“We are challenging the authenticity of the letter which authorises prosecution of this matter on the basis that it was not authored by the prosecutor-general,” Mugiya said.

“This is a question of law because according to section 34 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act it is clear that the authority of the prosecutor-general must be sought for prosecution of an accused person charged for insulting the president.

“…A reading of the letter tendered as authority of prosecution clearly points out that it was authored by someone else and not the prosecutor-general therefore the accused person cannot continue on remand.

“The State ought to know that where an act of Parliament is specific that only a certain individual acting in an authorised manner that authority cannot be delegated.”

According to State papers, charges against Lumumba arose on June 30, this year when he was launching his political outfit at a local hotel in Harare.

During his address, Lumumba referring to Mugabe reportedly said, “you have not been insulted, you are only insulted by protesters”.

“…Mugabe f**k you, I am drawing the red line, our kids are in trouble so, it’s a red line…and my name is Lumumba, Lumumba, Lumumba…,” the court heard.

“…A war veteran’s child…,” he reportedly said, adding that Mugabe’s children will be dealt with too.”

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