Man facing ED insult rap 'threatened'

HARARE - A man accused of undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday told the court that he was being threaten by unknown visitors in remand prison.

Gastaff Kativhu, 46, allegedly entered the venue of the Zanu PF extraordinary congress in Harare and headed to the VIP tent while waving placards accusing Mnangagwa of killing his friend and calling for the UN to supervise Zimbabwe's forthcoming general elections. The placard also accused the Zanu PF government of failing to fulfil its election promise to provide millions of jobs. His placard also accused Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga of being part of  a diamond mafia.

Kativhu’s lawyer Job Sikhala told the court that the prisons system was allowing "these strange people" to visit his client.

Sikhala lodged a bail application to have his client released protesting his “unlawful” arrest.

If convicted, Kativhu  faces a sentence of a fine or one year in prison. He is also charged with disorderly conduct in a public place which carries a six-month sentence.

“Courts should not be frightened by big names thrown before it,” Sikhala said while responding to prosecutor Micheal Reza’s opposition to bail.

“He (Kativhu) has been working for the King of Saudi Arabia since 2004, he is a celebrated international engineer, he has a house in Dzivarasekwa and is developing an industrial complex in Working.

“That issue that he comes from Mudzi must not discriminate him , it’s not his fault, it was the design of God why should the people be undermined that they should not enjoy constitutional rights,” he said after Reza had argued that there was a possibility that if granted bail, Kativhu might escape to Mozambique as Mudzi is close to Mozambique.

Reza claimed Kativhu was a flight risk because he faced serious allegations.

The bail application ruling will be delivered today by Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.