10 November 2017

Zimbabwe: 4 in Court for Booing First Lady

Photo: The Herald
First Lady Grace Mugabe (file photo).

Three men and a woman from Bulawayo have been taken to court for allegedly booing First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe at the zanu-pf Presidential Youth Interface Rally held last Saturday at White City Stadium. Mabutho Lucky Moyo (32) of Lobengula, Mayibongwe Evans Zvigadza (28) of Barbourfields, Walter Sibanda (24) of Tshabalala and Dephine Dzvange (33) of Nketa 7 were allegedly being led by former zanu-pf Bulawayo Central District chairman Magura Charumbira who was at large.

A court heard that they allegedly sang and made gestures throwing hands in the air after the First Lady said Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo was being persecuted for nothing. The quartet, which is facing a charge of undermining the authority of the President, is represented by Mr Tanaka Muganyi of Muganyi Law Chambers.

They were remanded in custody to today for bail ruling by Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi. Representing the State, Mr Jerry Mutsindikwa said the rally was attended by President Mugabe as the Guest of Honour, Vice President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other top Government officials.

"The quartet with others allegedly sang the song 'Into oyenzayo siyayizonda' (We hate what you are doing) at White City Stadium when Dr Grace Mugabe was addressing the gathering," Mr Mutsindikwa said. He said the accused made hand gestures as they booed the First Lady.

zanu-pf youths later intervened and took Charumbira out of the Stadium, and as they booed the First Lady, the quartet was spotted by police officers on duty, the court heard. In opposing the accused's application for bail, Mr Mutsindikwa said they were likely to abscond. He said the State also feared that the accused might interfere with witnesses as some potential witnesses' statements have not yet been recorded.

In response, Mr Muganyi said it was the quartet's constitutional right to be granted bail. He said the State had no compelling reasons to deny them bail. "What the State has pushed for are speculative thoughts. They are no solid reasons to suggest the accused might abscond court. The four are willing to agree to a condition that they should not attend any interface rally in future," he said.

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