24 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Temporary Relief for Man Who 'Insulted' Mugabe

The trial of a Chiredzi man accused of insulting President Robert Mugabe failed to take off recently after the accused, Leonard Maora (37)'s defence lawyer argued that the matter could not be heard in the absence of a Prosecuting Authority certificate.

Maora, who resides in Triangle, was arrested on July 7 for allegedly uttering words that are deemed to undermine the authority of the President as defined in section 33(b) of the criminal Law (codification and reform) Act.

The law demands that courts must secure authority to prosecute from the Attorney-General in such cases. Blessing Nyamaropa from Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers association, who was representing the accused, put it to the senior prosecutor at Chiredzi magistrate court Eddie Mbavarira that the matter could not proceed in the absence the prosecuting authority certificate.

The state concurred with the submissions made by the defence counsel and stuck the matter off the roll.

Maora will come to court by way of summons in the event that the court is furnished with the prosecuting authority certificate.

The state is alleging that Maora uttered the words, "President akatukwa naMwari saka nyika ichitambura [The presdient was cursed by God, that is why we are in trouble]." The State alleges the words were derogatory and in bad taste to the President.

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