Charamba insult case postponed

HARARE - The case of a Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) cop who was charged after he reportedly wrote in a WhatsApp message that national police spokesperson Charity Charamba was an “idiot” was yesterday deferred to October 18.

James Mabasa, 38, is being charged with contravening the Post and Telecommunications Act by sending offensive messages over the phone and obstructing the course of justice.

Charamba appeared at the magistrates’ courts in the company of three police officers who were billed to testify against Mabasa in the case.

However, Harare magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta deferred the trial.

“You are warned to return to court on October 18 failure of which will result in the witnesses being issued with warrants of arrest,” Sabarauta warned Charamba and her team.

Cases that were booked for hearings in that court had to be rescheduled to other dates to accommodate Charamba “given the office that she holds”.

After Mabasa’s last court appearance on September 20, he was subsequently suspended from work as part of police’s administrative measures in handling the matter.

The complainant is Charamba in her capacity as head of press and public relations in the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

The second complainant is Pikisai Chipwazo, a cop stationed at Criminal Investigations Department, Homicide in Harare.

The State alleged that on May 15, detectives from CID Homicide Harare received an anonymous Whatsapp message allegedly denigrating Charamba’s office and her personality.

The message read: “The police used to hold meetings with magistrates and other law enforcement stakeholders to map a way of reducing lawlessness but now it’s the other way round.

“The public now has meetings with lawyers on ways to disregard the police.

“The public relations office is headed by an idiot who does not know that she has to encourage the public to be compliant with the police.”

It was alleged that Mabasa was immediately arrested and taken to Harare Central Police Station.

While being interviewed in connection with the message, Mabasa allegedly grabbed his Techno tablet and smashed it onto the floor, damaging it.

According to State papers, Mabasa did so intending to destroy evidence linking him to the offence and was consequently charged with obstructing the course of justice.

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