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biscuit man freed
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
October 20, 2011
A Mbare Magistrate
on Thursday 20 October 2011 freed a 52 year-old Harare resident,
Zebediah Mpofu, who was under prosecution for allegedly undermining
the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe after his
trial failed to commence.
turned down an application for further remand filed by State prosecutors
seeking to postpone Mpofu's trial after State witnesses failed
to turn up in court including the complainant in the matter.
and the complainant, Gilbert Matarutse a known ZANU PF supporter
failed to turn up in court for the fourth time since August when
the trial was scheduled to commence. The trial was all along being
postponed to allow the witnesses and the complainant to appear in
Mpofu, a general
hand labourer at a private security firm was arrested in October
2010 and charged with contravening Section 33 (1) (a) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 as read with
Section 33 (2) (a) of the same Act after he allegedly taunted a
workmate that he owed a fruity drink and a packet of biscuits he
was enjoying for lunch to economic policies spearheaded by Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The State alleged
that Mpofu also stated that "President Mugabe had ruined the
country and that he was going to be dead by December 2010 then Morgan
Tsvangirai would take over as President of Zimbabwe."
charged that by uttering such statements Mpofu had undermined the
authority or insulted Mugabe.
agony ended on Thursday 20 October 2011 after Magistrate Mudondo
removed him from remand and ordered the State to proceed by way
of summons if they intend to pursue the matter.
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