MP accused of insulting Mugabe freed on bail

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MUTARE — Chimanimani West MP Lynette Karenyi who had been in remand prison since December 20 accused of labelling President Robert Mugabe as gay was finally released on bail yesterday.

The State failed to file an opposing appeal to the order granted by a local magistrate last week within the stipulated seven-day period as provided in section 121 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Karenyi was yesterday remanded to January 12 for trial.

She was arrested on December 19 on claims that she made the utterances during a campaign rally at Nhedziwa Business Centre. She faces charges of undermining the authority of, or insulting the President as defined in section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

It is alleged that the MP told her supporters President Mugabe practised homosexuality with Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo and the late former President Canaan Banana.

Magistrate Noah Gwatidzo had granted the MP bail on December 20 dismissing the State’s claims that Karenyi was a flight risk.

The State was supposed to appeal at the High Court before 11 o’clock yesterday since the bail ruling was made at around 11 o’clock on December 20.

Her lawyer, David Tandire, wanted the matter remanded to January 18 on the basis that they had not been furnished with State papers, but chief law officer Michael Mugabe wanted the matter to be heard on January 4.

Senior MDC-T members, including the national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, MPs and councillors, packed the courtroom during yesterday’s hearing.