War vets disown communiqué

HARARE - War Veterans’ leaders who are being charged for insulting President Robert Mugabe yesterday distanced themselves from a communiqué forming the basis of their allegations and charged at the State for infringing on their constitutional rights during detention.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, Victor Matemandada (secretary-general), Francis Nhando (political commissar), Headman Moyo (deputy chairperson) and Hoyini Samuel Bhila are accused of contravening section 33 of the Criminal Law on charges of undermining authority of or insulting the president.
The four who are being represented by Beatrice Mtetwa, Andrew Makoni and Harrison Nkomo, appeared before Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande yesterday.

In the application challenging placement on remand, the war veterans claim not to have knowledge or any association with the communiqué.
“The document relied upon by the State is not signed and it is not known where the police got it.

“There is absolutely no nexus between the document and the accused persons,” reads part of the application tendered to court by Mtetwa.
“The State has not, in the warned and cautioned statement preamble alleged that any of the accused persons wrote the communiqué.

“The court is invited to take judicial notice that the unsigned communiqué is available on social media making the authorship and ownership even more complicated.”
Mtetwa argued that State facts did not constitute reasonable suspicion that an offence could subsist.

“In addition to their special status as war veterans, the accused persons are entitled to enjoyment of constitutionally guaranteed rights. So, even if they had issued the communiqué complained of, this would constitute protected speech.
“The accused are therefore entitled to support the policies of the government and to challenge or oppose the policies.

“This communiqué which was not authored by the accused is merely a challenge by the authors to the governance of this country, the perceived dictatorial tendencies of the Zanu PF leadership and their resorting to genocide language when dealing with opposition views.”
Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema will file his response to the application on September 8.

Allegations against Mahiya arose between April 7 and July 21, this year, when he allegedly connived with Matemadanda, Nhando, Bhila, Moyo and ZNLWVA members who are still at large and authored a document that undermined Mugabe’s office.
According to court papers, the documents were captioned, War Veterans Communiqué on the State of Zimbabwe’s Economy, the Zanu PF Party Leadership and the Way Forward for the People of Zimbabwe.

The State alleges that information contained in the document is defamatory.

Comments (5)

Why is Chris not charged? Are they afraid of him?

Lt General - 6 September 2016

Communique, Communique, Zvakubhohwa. Find dzimwe news kwete same shit everyday. You should also desist from the habit of bringing recycled news as referencies which would occupy almost 40% of all your articles. Daily News what's happening. We used to know you bringing real news everyday. Change your approach please.

madamburo - 7 September 2016

bepa riri kunonoka online zvinobhowa kuswerera news dzazuro

Tari - 7 September 2016

Daily news should be now change to Daily boos. Your paper is boring and updated late on your webpage. Take some lessons from Newsday coz they are moving with the times. On the war veteran issue, i say face the music coz when you raped and maimed in the name of Zanu pf, you were praised by the same hoodlums who are now baying for your blood. What goes around comes around.Musadeure ropa kunyangwe rine mhosva coz blood answers to the Almighty God and not to mere mortals. Icho!!

Nexus - 7 September 2016

@nexus,its important that the dailynews uploads news late so that readers are not annoyed by shallow views from the likes of @chimata,@samanyika,@diibulanyika,@masamba akareyo,@ishe nehoreka,@viona ngwena,@sagitar and all like minded idiots

truth - 7 September 2016

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