As opposition councillor is charged over the same offence
HIGH Court Judge Justice Neville Wamambo on Monday 6 July 2020 ended
the week-long detention of Ephraim Muthombeni, the Director of
Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Community Development
(MACRAD), who was arrested last month and charged with undermining
authority of or insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Justice Wamambo set Muthombeni free after he had been denied bail on
Monday 29 June 2020 by Masvingo Magistrate Mbonisi Ndlovu, who ruled
that the 28 year-old MACRAD leader is a flight risk and could escape
from standing trial.
In setting Muthombeni free, Justice Wamambo ordered him to pay bail
amounting to RTGS$1 000 and to report once every month at Masvingo
Police Station and to continue residing at his given residential
address and not to interfere with witnesses until his matter is
Muthombeni, who was represented by Martin Mureri of Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights (ZLHR), was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police
(ZRP) members on Sunday 28 June 2020 and charged with undermining
authority of or insulting President Mnangagwa as defined in section
33(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Prosecutors alleged that Muthombeni faulted President Mnangagwa during
an address to some commuters, who were queuing and waiting to board a
state-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company bus, for presiding over
Zimbabwe’s agonising economic crisis and demanding that the ZANU PF
party leader resigns.
Muthombeni is alleged to have uttered the words; “Murikuona kumira
kwamakaita pa queue imhosva ya President E.D Mnangagwa arikukwidza ma
prices e fuel achiba mari nevana vake. E.D must go,” which if loosely
translated means; “You are suffering as a result of President
Mnangagwa’s poor leadership and corruption committed by himself and
his children and his failure to stem fuel price hikes and he should
Meanwhile, ZRP members on Monday 6 July 2020 arrested Godfrey
Kurauone, the Councillor for Ward 4 in Masvingo Urban constituency and
charged him with undermining authority of or insulting President
Mnangagwa as defined in section 33(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.
The law enforcement agents charged that the 33 year-old Kurauone
accused President Mnangagwa during an address to some commuters, who
were queuing and waiting to board a state-owned Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company bus, of leading a corrupt administration and hence
Kurauone, who is represented by Mureri of ZLHR, is alleged to have
uttered the words; “Let’s us unite and remove this corrupt government
and Mnangagwa. President Mnangagwa and his criminals must go.”
Kurauone is scheduled to appear at Masvingo Magistrates Court on
Tuesday 7 July 2020.