There was drama at the magistrates’ court on Thursday when a man whom the court had deemed needed a psychiatric check-up for allegedly walking the streets of Harare shouting obscenities about Zanu PF, blaming the party for ruining his life, stood his ground and told the court he was perfectly normal and would repeat the feat were he to be released.
Keven Kambuyani (31) was arrested for moving around the streets carrying placards in the central business district claiming he was a victim of Zanu PF atrocities and was in need of help.
According to the state, Kambuyani would go around the streets carrying a placard inscripted: “Zanu PF victim, please help” and would enter into packed banking halls and other crowded places, describing in detail how Zanu PF had allegedly beaten and maimed him, totally ruining his life.
The state alleges Kambuyani labelled Zanu PF as a party of thugs “much to the annoyance of the public and against the spirit of national healing process”.
He was immediately arrested by the police during the process of delivering his speeches at a banking hall in the city centre.
“During his address to the members of the public in banks, Kambuyani shouted hate speech against Zanu PF political party to the effect that the party had caused his failure to fend for himself,” the state alleges.
The state also claims that Kambuyani addressed a gathering at the corner of First Street and George Silundika Avenue in Harare where he expressed his anger at Zanu PF, which he accused of making his life a misery.
After hearing the nature of Kambuyani’s crime and charging him with contravening Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which deems Kambuyani’s escapades as criminal nuisance, the magistrate granted the state an application to have the accused medically examined.
But Kambuyani would have none of it. He told the magistrate that there was nothing wrong at all with his mental faculty, that he was perfectly sane and meant every word that he had uttered.
“Your Worship, I am 100% psychologically and mentally fit. I am looking dirty because of poverty. It’s only that I cannot even buy a bar of soap,” he told the court.
He begged the court not to judge him by his appearance, which he said was the reason for his one-man public protest against Zanu PF, which he held responsible for the mess that his life had become.
But magistrate Donald Ndirowei was not convinced. He remanded Kambuyani in custody and ordered that he be examined by two medical doctors to establish his mental status.
Kambuyani appeared shocked that he was being sent for a verification of his mental status and tried to plead with the magistrate to give him a chance to prove there was nothing wrong with him but it was all in vain.
“The doctors will determine whether you are of sound mind,” Ndirowei declared.
“Come back on December 15. Stand down.”
Prison officers immediately took the magistrate’s order and dragged the protesting Kambuyani through the door leading to the holding cells from where he would be taken to remand prison.