Zimbabwe: Four in Court for Pirating 'Mugabe 2020' Film

FOUR people appeared at Harare Magistrates Court on allegations of pirating a film titled, "Mugabe 2020" produced by Eastgate Films before it was officially launched.

According to the State, the film was expected to make US$30 million from sales but the four tried to climb into that trough of cash in advance.

Edwin Mabhero, Cliff Marufu, Blessing Nhamo and Gilson Ngirandi separately appeared before magistrate Mrs Tafadzwa Miti charged with violating the Copyright Act.

Mabhero admitted to the offence, was convicted and asked to return to court today for sentence.

Nhamo, Marufu and Chihiya denied the charges and are expected to appear in court on June 14 for trial.

Eastgate Films is being represented by Mr Cosmas Mukwenya.

On Tuesday, Mr Mukwenya, in the company of Sergeant Yvonne Chihiya, Constable Madangombe and Constable Mangezi Mabhero, went to F27 Gulf Complex along Chinhoyi Street in Harare and told Mabhero that he wanted a film titled "Mugabe 2020".

Mabhero told the police officers that he had the film and was selling it for US$1 for three copies. Police then gave him a blank flash drive on which he copied the movie.

Mabhero was then arrested and a laptop and other items were seized as evidence.

On the same day, the police went to Angwa House where Marufu and Nhamo were selling the same film and arrested them.

The court heard that Marufu told the police that he got the film from Nhamo.

On the same day, Mr Mukwenya, in the company of the police, visited Ngirandi at a shop located at 109 Joseph Msika Street in the city centre.

Ngirandi is said to have sold the police the film leading to his arrest. It is alleged that police recovered copies of the film from him and a laptop he was using to copy the film. Mr Thomas Chanakira appeared for the State.

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