Two charged with insulting Mugabe

Source: Two charged with insulting Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 2, 2017

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government has increased its clampdown on freedom of expression ahead of general elections next year, after two Nyanga men were recently charged with insulting the Zanu PF leader.


As he struggles to hold down his position as the country’s leader and entrench his long rule, Mugabe’s administration has turned to harassing political opponents, including through crafting a law that criminalises making derogatory comments about him.

Dozens of Zimbabweans have fallen foul of the law.

Early this week, police charged Allan Chinewaita (40) and Casper Tambara (39) of Nyamahumba Primary School in Nyanga district’s Ruwange area with undermining the authority of the President under Section 33(2)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

According to the charge sheet, a copy of which NewsDay has in its possession, Chinewaita is also accused of assault after an altercation with one Spiwe Biningu.

“In that on October 30, 2017 at Nyamahumba Primary School, Ruwangwe, Allan Chinewaita publicly, unlawfully and intentionally made statements about or concerning the President with the knowledge or realising that there is a real risk of possibility that the statement is false and that it may engender the feelings or hostility towards or cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of the President in person or in respect of the President’s Office,” the charge sheet read.

“That is to say Allan Chinewaita said in Shona ‘Handivhoteri Zanu PF, uye President Mugabe imbwa’, literally meaning ‘I will not vote Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe is like a dog.”

Tambara is facing the same charge.

The two are being represented by Blessing Nyamaropa, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who yesterday confirmed his clients had already appeared in court.

“They appeared in court yesterday (Wednesday) and were released on free bail. The State will proceed by way of summons and we will wait until such time,” he said.