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Mugabe insult law challenged


NYAMANDLOVU — The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has been given the nod to take the case of a Nyamandlovu woman accused of insulting President Robert Mugabe to the Supreme Court.

Report by Silas Nkala

Jeritha Nkomo (36) is denying the charges and is out of custody on $30 bail.

Magistrate Victor Mpofu granted the application last Thursday at the Nyamandlovu circuit court following representations by Nkomo’s lawyer Lizwe Jamela of ZLHR.

Jamela said the application was made in terms of Section 24 (2) of the Constitution, which allows a party to seek clarification at the highest court whenever there is a question of violation of rights.

Nkomo sought clarification on Section 33 which criminalises undermining or insulting a sitting President.

“It is submitted that the words complained of do not even indicate how they can be attributed to the President in an insulting way or undermining his authority,” he said.

“In so far as the name Mugabe is concerned, it is a surname common to many Zimbabwean families and where a general reference is made to that name, it cannot be reasonably said that it is specific reference to the President.”

Allegations against Nkomo are that Nyamandlovu Zanu PF district chairman Raphael Ncube (53) of Umguza was at a neighbour’s home sometime in December 2010 when he saw Nkomo and her husband Vincent Dube driving a vehicle along a nearby road.

Nkomo allegedly insulted Ncube using unprintable words, including calling him a witch and a goblin.

She allegedly said Ncube behaved as if the land was his, as he had denied her maize seed donated by Zanu PF.

Nkomo is alleged to have said the maize seed was “Mugabe’s filthy” donation.

Ncube reported the matter to the police, leading to Nkomo’s arrest.

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