Man facing Mnangagwa insult rap freed on bail

HARARE - A man accused of undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa was yesterday released on $100 bail by magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.

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.

He told the court that he was being threatened by unknown visitors in remand prison.

Kativhu’s lawyer Job Sikhala told the court that the prisons system was allowing “strange people” to visit his client in remand prison.

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

Sikhala also gave a notice to challenge the lawfulness of his arrest.

As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to report on Mondays and Fridays at Dzivaresekwa Police Station and submit his passport.

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 imprisonment. 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 Dzivaresekwa and is developing an industrial complex in Workington.

“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.

On December 15 2017, Zanu PF held an extraordinary congress at Robert Mugabe Square opposite Rotten Row Court, in Harare. The main agenda of the congress was to endorse President Mnangagwa as the sole presidential candidate of Zanu PF in the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections.

The State alleges that Kativhu was then seen at the venue heading towards the VIP tent waving three placards written ‘‘ Another 37 years no jobs”, “Election by UN or else 2008”, “Chiwenga don’t beat up vendors, give them jobs” , “Mnangagwa, Chiwenga diamond mafia”, “Mnangagwa killed my friend” and “Zanu PF is giving your jobs to China”

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