No reprieve for Mutumanje

Source: No reprieve for Mutumanje | The Herald June 13, 2017

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
The prosecution yesterday made a U-turn in the case in which former Zanu-PF activist William Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba, is accused of insulting President Mugabe, when it indicated to the court that it was not withdrawing charges against him. The latest development comes barely a month after Mutumanje withdrew his constitutional application when the prosecution advised the Constitutional Court that it was withdrawing the charges.

Mutumanje, who allegedly used the F-word to insult President Mugabe, had brought his application to the Constitutional Court, arguing that his utterances did not constitute an offence.

He also argued that his constitutional rights as enshrined in the Constitution were being infringed.

At the hearing before a full bench of the Concourt, Mutumanje’s lawyer, Advocate Zvikomborero Chadambuka instructed by Mr David Hofisi, advised the court that his client was no longer pursuing the matter.

He indicated that the State, led by law officer Mr Edmore Nyazamba, had agreed to withdraw the criminal charges against his client, which gave rise to the application.

When Mutumanje appeared in court yesterday before Ms Nomsa Sabarauta anticipating a withdrawal, prosecutor Ms Venancia Mutake said they were proceeding with trial and proposed July 18 as the trial date.

She said she had not received any communication on withdrawal from the National Prosecuting Authority.

Ms Mutake said the State was proceeding with trial since Mutumanje withdrew his Concourt application, a submission which Mutumanje is challenging on the basis that the State hoodwinked them to withdraw.

Mutumanje then made an application for refusal of further remand.

Ms Sabarauta requested to see a photocopy of the Concourt record of proceedings before passing a ruling.

She also advised Ms Mutake to communicate with the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

The matter was then rolled over to today when Mr Hofisi is expected to bring a copy of the Concourt record to substantiate his submissions.

In his submissions, Lumumba through his lawyer, Mr Hofisi, accused the prosecution of being unprofessional and showing no respect for the courts.

It is the State’s case that on June 30 last year, Mutumanje, who was addressing people during the launch of his political party, said: “Mr President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, f*** you”.