Man accused of Mugabe caricature dies

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One of the two Plumtree men arrested in February for possessing subversive material with caricatures of President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, has died.

Mxolisi Tshabalala passed away a fortnight ago in Plumtree after a long illness.

His lawyer Lizwe Jamela confirmed the development Friday.

Tshabalala and his co-accused Blessed Phiri, an ex-policeman, were arrested in Plumtree after they were allegedly found showing the caricatures to members of the public.

“He was supposed to appear in court on April 20 but I was advised by his co-accused that he had passed away. Prosecutor Stanley Chinyan’anya confirmed Tshabalala’s death. He had not been feeling well even before his arrest,” said Jamela.

When they were arrested, the pair refused to divulge the source of the caricatures which were printed on old Zimbabwe dollar bank notes.

The pair had been appearing before Plumtree resident magistrate Mark Dzira.

Phiri is now expected back in court on May 24. Both men were on $50 bail each.

The two were facing charges of undermining the authority of, or insulting the President or his immediate family.

They however had not yet been formally charged.