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WhatsApp lands woman in trouble

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A shop assistant in Bulawayo has landed herself in trouble with the police after she sent a nude picture of President Robert Mugabe on the social network WhatsApp purporting it was shot on February 21 2011, the veteran politician’s birthday.

REPORT BY RICHARD MUPONDE SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Chantel Rusike (20), who is employed as a shop assistant in the city, was not formally charged for causing hatred, contempt or ridicule of Mugabe as defined by Section (33) (2) (a) (ii) of the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa on Monday.

She was remanded out of custody to January 11 on $100 bail with stringent conditions.

Rusike was remanded out of custody after her lawyer Robinson Mahachi and the State agreed that she was a good candidate for bail.

“After listening to the corroborative submission by both counsel there seems not to be any likelihood that if admitted to bail the accused is likely to abscond,” ruled Muchemwa. “Accordingly, bail is granted with the followings conditions.

Accused is admitted to $100 bail to reside at her given address at number 226 Higgs Road, Sunninghill, and to report once every week on Mondays at Bulawayo Central Police Station until the completion of this matter.”

State counsel Malvern Nzombe told the court that on Christmas Eve at about 10:49pm, Rusike sent a picture on WhatsApp with Mugabe.

The picture depicted a naked Mugabe and underneath the image she allegedly inscribed a message, “Robert Mugabe turning 87 years on 21 February 2011. Happy birthday, Matibili Operation”.

An informant advised the security agents who intercepted the picture, leading to her arrest. Several people have been arrested for undermining or denigrating Mugabe.

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