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Man bashes Mugabe portrait

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A Chiredzi man landed himself in trouble after striking a portrait of President Robert Mugabe with empty bottles in a bar, accusing the veteran leader of rendering him jobless despite him having acquired six Ordinary Level passes.

Report by Moses Matenga Staff Reporter

Regis Kandawasvika (35) had to be restrained by others who were present after allegedly attacking the President’s portrait with empty bottles, having failed to hit the portrait with a pool cue stick in a bar in Tshovani suburb in Chiredzi.

Kandawasvika is said to have been so bitter with Mugabe that he indicated he did not want to see him or his picture.

“I am suffering because of the ruling of this man Robert Mugabe. I have six ‘O’ Level subjects, but I have no job. I don’t want to see this old man. This time he is going,” Kandawasvika is alleged to have said.

It is alleged that after his utterances, there restrained from further attacking the portrait by fellow patrons. He was arrested and subsequently appeared in court where he is facing charges of undermining the authority of the President.

The accused is being represented by Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and was granted $20 bail by a Chiredzi magistrate.

This is not the first time an individual stands accused of undermining the authority of the President.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora is one of many who were charged under this law. He allegedly described the President as a goblin at a rally in 2009.

But Mwonzora is challenging the constitutionality of this law at the Supreme Court, arguing the law was an infringement of freedom of expression and was giving unfair advantage to Mugabe.

Elton Mangoma, the MDC-T deputy treasury-general and Minister of Energy, was arrested for undermining the authority of the President at a rally in Bindura.

Recently, a 47-year-old man, Christopher Mandeya, was accused of undermining the authority of or insulting Mugabe when he allegedly said: “There is now a unity government — Zanu PF is no longer in power. Forsake your Mugabe. Forsake father of Chatunga.”

According to State papers, Martin Mavhangira from Chipadze Township heard Mandeya pronouncing the words on May 3 this year.

According to ZLHR, some of the accused persons have since approached the Supreme Court seeking a determination on the constitutionality of the defamation law, arguing that the law violates their constitutionally-guaranteed right to freely express their views concerning a political foe.

Meanwhile, a Nyamandlovu magistrate, Victor Mpofu, on Thursday referred to the Supreme Court the case in which Jeritha Nkomo (36)is challenging the constitutionality of her prosecution on charges of undermining the authority of or insulting Mugabe.

Nkomo had been on trial since September after the State summoned her for trial for an offence which was allegedly committed in December 2011.

Nkomo, who was represented by Lizwe Jamela of ZLHR, is alleged to have uttered some unprintable words as she criticised Mugabe for allegedly discriminating her and her MDC party supporters from accessing agricultural inputs such as seeds.

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