6 September 2010

Zimbabwe: Man Jailed for One Year for 'Insulting' Mugabe

Photo: Herald
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

A 23 year old man has been sentenced to a year behind bars with hard labour, for 'insulting' Robert Mugabe.

On Friday Chipinge provincial magistrate Samuel Zuze handed down the stiff sentence to Gift Mafuka, who was accused of make an "insulting" remark to two children wearing pro-Mugabe T-shirts. Mafuka apparently asked the boys why they were wearing T-shirts, picturing an old person with wrinkles.

Mafuka was found guilty of contravening the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, by "insulting the office of the President." However, his sentence was reduced by two months on condition he does not call Mugabe 'old' again in the next five years. Mugabe will be 91 by that time.

Human rights lawyers have called the sentence "political" as Mafuka's comments could not in any way be considered a crime. The lawyers have encouraged Mafuka to appeal, saying his conviction and sentence were unlikely to stand up in a higher court.

May we suggest to Mr. Mugabe that he checks in with his plastic surgeon the moment there is a window of opportunity in his busy schedule, as clearly he is in need of a top up of the Botox he has on a regular basis.

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