Matemadanda challenges placement on remand

HARARE - War veterans’ leader, Victor Matemadanda, who is being charged with undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe after he reportedly addressed a presser and attacked the first lady, has challenged his placement on remand.

He was represented by Beatrice Mtetwa when he appeared before Harare magistrate Josephine Sande yesterday.

Matemadanda is being charged for contravening sections (30) and 33(2) (a) (ii) for causing disaffection among defence forces and undermining the authority of, or, insulting the president.

The Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa supporter said his arrest and prosecution was unjustified because he was exercising his right to freedom of expression.

He said State agents were abusing the law to satisfy their political agendas in contrast to provision of the Constitution.

“The history of this matter shows the extent to which some laws are being used as a weapon of intimidating the citizens of Zimbabwe,” Matemadanda said in the application filed by Mtetwa.

“The seriousness of the intimidation is that it curtails the right of the citizens to fully enjoy their constitutionally enshrined rights and in this case the right to freedom of expression as protected in section 61 of the Constitution.

“…such laws do not have a place in our constitutional democracy. In making the press statement applicant was exercising his freedom of expression right…and has been held to embrace the right and freedom to hold, impart and disseminate ideas to others, even if such ideas are unpalatable to those who hear them.

“The right is also protected in the context of political commentary notwithstanding the tone of political debates.”

During Matemadanda’s initial appearance, Mtetwa argued that court processes were being stage-managed and aimed at frustrating her client on political grounds.

“Anyone in the accused person’s shoes would feel the decision has already been made in chambers,” Mtetwa said while addressing then presiding magistrate Elisha Singano.

This is the second time in just over a year that Matemadanda has had to fight for his freedom at the courts.

He, along with other executive members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation and War ¥Veterans Association were arrested in July last year, for allegedly penning a damning communiqué that denounced Mugabe for running down the southern African state, being divisive in politics and manipulative in general.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.