Man Arrested For Mocking Mugabe

MugabeA Zimbabwean man has landed himself in trouble for allegedly mocking President Robert Mugabe for having diluted powers after forming a coalition government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Christopher Mandeya (47) is answering charges of undermining the authority of or insulting Mugabe in contravention of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

According to State prosecutors, Mandeya, employed as a data capture clerk, taunted Mugabe for losing powers under the power sharing government, which brought in Tsvangirai as Prime Minister.

Prosecutors said Mandeya allegedly uttered the following words:

“Kwavane unity government, Zanu (PF) haichatonga pfutseke naMugabe venyu, pfutseke nababa Chatunga”, which the State took to mean: “There is now a unity government, Zanu (PF) is no longer in power, forsake your Mugabe, forsake Father Chatunga.”

“The accused had no right to insult the president,” reads the state’s outline.

Prosecutors charge that Mandeya uttered the insulting words when he was allegedly drunk at Chipadze Business Centre in May. Prosecutors also allege Mandeya was overhead by an informant, Martin Mavhangira, aged 59.

Mandeya, who is being represented by Denford Halimani of Wintertons Legal Practitioners and a member lawyer of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), is currently out of custody on bail.

Mandeya is the latest Zimbabwean to answer insult charges, which have been nailed against dozens of Zimbabweans.

Critics warn that insult cases could escalate as the troubled southern African country trudges towards a referendum and a general election, which President Mugabe wants held early next year. radio vop

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