ACTING President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month allegedly ordered police officers to arrest a Kwekwe man who kept interjecting him while he was addressing disgruntled villagers gathered at his Precab Farm in Kwekwe in protest against his abusive neighbour Reverend Tititi Moyo.
The suspect, Farai Zivogara (28), appeared before Kwekwe resident magistrate Taurai Manwere on Thursday charged with disorderly conduct which had the effect of breaching peace.
It is the State case that on December 22, Zivogara repeatedly interjected Mnangagwa’s speech.
“While the Acting President was addressing the crowd, the accused who is one of Reverend Tititi Moyo’s employees stood up and without permission from the chairman [Mnangagwa] interjected the Acting President, saying the allegations which were being raised against his boss were false and meant to tarnish Tititi’s image,” part of the State outline read.
Speaking under oath, arresting officer Sergeant Edson Mazivire told the court that Mnangagwa, who was visibly annoyed by Zivogara’s actions instructed the police to arrest him for his conduct.
“Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa instructed the police to arrest the accused just after he had finished speaking,” Mazivire said.
However, Zivogara through his lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni denied the charge saying he only spoke after chanting the Zanu PF slogan as was the protocol and aired opposing views to the demonstrators whom he accused of lying.
“The meeting was well organised and orderly conducted. Everyone was expected to and indeed followed certain protocol. Anyone who wanted to contribute to the discussions would first raise their hand; the chair [who happened to be Hon Mnangagwa] would pick, authorise and direct someone to make his or her own contributions after reciting a Zanu PF slogan. The accused followed protocol and even Hon Mnangagwa responded to his contributions,” he said in written submissions.
Another police officer Sergeant Knowledge Dube, who also testified in the trial, however, said Mnangagwa instructed the police to ask Zivogara to assist with investigations into charges levelled against Moyo.
“After the meeting the Acting President as he was walking to his homestead told us to take the accused and go with him to Victory Farm so that we can verify that the allegations were indeed false as he had said during the meeting. At no time did he order us to arrest the accused,” Dube said.
The matter was remanded to January 26 after Zivogara’s lawyer applied to have his client discharged at the close of the State case.
Mthombeni and State counsel Simeleni Nkala are expected to file their written arguments with the court by January 21.