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Monitor Issue 79
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
February 07, 2011
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Villager nailed for insulting Mugabe
A 65-year-old man is in trouble for allegedly calling
President Robert Mugabe a dog. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) last week had to rescue Chakanetsa Murenga of Humbasha village
under Chief Matope in Mt
Darwin, Mashonaland Central province, who is facing a charge of
undermining the authority of or insulting President Mugabe.
His trial, which
was set to begin on Friday for contravening Section 33 (2) (b) of
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 at Bindura Magistrates
Court, was postponed to22 February.
This was after
ZLHR lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu, asked to represent the 65-year-old Murenga,
who initially had no legal representation. According to the State,
Murenga last August uttered the words "Mugabe ngaabve pachigaro
uye hatitongwe nekamunhu kachembera, imbwayemunhu," as he
approached the homestead of a fellow villager, Stanley Humbasha.
The State argues that the statement, which prosecutors
translated to mean: "Mugabe must step down from power, we
cannot be ruled by an old person, he is a dog" was "either
abusive or obscene" as it insulted the "President of
Republic of Zimbabwe".
But Murenga says Humbasha fabricated the allegation.
On the charge
sheet, the complainant is identified as "the State."
"I did not insult or undermine the authority of the
President. I only went to the complainant's house to collect
my money (which) he owed me after working for him. That is when
he started to allege (sic) me of this," said Murenga in his
warned and cautioned statement recorded at Mount Darwin police station.
the ZLHR fact
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