14 March 2019

Zimbabwe: State Declines to Prosecute Man Who Dislikes ED's Face

The case of a Maramba Pfungwe man facing charges of insulting or undermining the authority of the president failed to kickoff at the Murewa Magistrates' Courts, Tuesday after the State indicated it had not been furnished with the charge sheet.

Farai Gwanza, 32, of Dindi Village in Maramba Pfungwe was arrested, Monday after telling a colleague wearing a Zanu PF party T-shirt, bearing President Emmerson Mnangagwa's face, that he did not like the picture of the person on it.

However, when Gwanza went to court, Tuesday, the prosecutor advised him that he did not have his records and was free to go home.

"So maybe if they need to proceed with the prosecution the police will summon him again," Kumbirai Mafunda, the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), said.

Gwanza was represented by Marufu Mandewere from the ZLHR.

He is the latest person to be charged for insulting Mnangagwa. Scores of people have appeared in court since December 2017 on charges of undermining President Mnangagwa's authority.

In December 2017, a Harare man, Gustav Kativhu, 45, was dragged to court facing charges of calling President Mnangagwa a 'murderer' during the Zanu PF special congress held in Harare.

Kativhu was nabbed at the congress venue in Harare, while carrying three placards written, "Mnangagwa killed my friend, Zanu PF is giving your jobs to China, Mnangagwa-(Vice-President Constatino) Chiwenga diamond mafia, Chiwenga don't beat vendors give them jobs and elections by UN, else 2008 and another 37 years of no job."

Another Harare man Wisdom Mkwananzi, 32, was arrested last September after he pointed at President Mnangagwa's official portrait hung on the wall and said; "I am an orphan because of this man. He killed my parents." He was later released after paying a $200 bail at the Magistrates' Courts and the matter is still pending before the courts.


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