A Zimbabwean man is under prosecution after he allegedly questioned some ruling ZANU PF party sympathisers' support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a time when he stands accused of presiding over the collapse of the economy.
38 year-old Morgan Muchemwa of Rushinga in Mashonaland Central province recently appeared before Magistrate Tendai Chifamba at Mt Darwin Magistrates Court answering to charges of undermining authority of or insulting the president as defined in section 33(2)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
In court, prosecutors claimed that Muchemwa publicly, unlawfully and intentionally made an abusive indecent or obscene statement about or concerning President Mnangagwa on 25 May 2019 at Marymount Business Centre in Rushinga by blaming him for presiding over the suffering being endured by Zimbabweans.
The unemployed Muchemwa, who is represented by Tinomuda Shoko of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), allegedly acted unlawfully when he told three ZANU PF party supporters namely Hazvinei Zhiwau, Chipo Chiunje and Natty Kajengo, who were on their way to attend a political party meeting at Bopoma Primary School, that they were wasting their time in lending support to President Mnangagwa and his ZANU PF party.
Muchemwa, who denies the charge returns to court on Monday 22 July 2019 after he was remanded out of custody to allow prosecutors to obtain authority to prosecute from Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi.
Meanwhile, Brian Kembo, an opposition MDC party Councillor for Ward 3 in Bindura in Mashonaland Central province, who was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly stated that President Mnangagwa is liable for causing stress among citizens and for authoring the country's economic crisis, has been set free.
Kembo was set free after a Bindura Magistrate upheld his application for exception to the charges after her lawyer Idirashe Chikomba of ZLHR argued that the charge of disorderly conduct as defined in section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act was inconsistent with the facts and the warned and cautioned statement recorded from him.
The Magistrate ordered the State to proceed by issuing summons if it intends to pursue the prosecution of Kembo.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)