A 38-YEAR-OLD Chipinge man, whose prank involved the use of President Robert Mugabe’s name, yesterday appeared at the Chipinge Magistrates’ Court charged with impersonating the Head of State and was convicted and remanded in custody for sentence.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
The man, Titus Maphosa, of Mbanje Farm, who thought creating a joke about Mugabe and sending it to friends, was just another way of whiling up time, found himself in trouble after law enforcement agents arrested and charged him with contravening section 88(b) of the Postal and Telecommunications Act.
According to the evidence presented in court, Maphosa used his Econet line to send a text message to Timothy Parenyi and Zaphaniah Mwakanya that reads: “Ecocash transfer confirmation: $1 500 from Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Thank you for supporting Zanu PF, mupewo vamwe ndezvemusangano izvi, imari ye madiamonds iyi musatya zvenyu (share with others, it is party money from diamond proceeds, do not be scared).
After receiving the text messages, Parenyi and Mwakanya made a police report, leading to Maphosa’s arrest.
In mitigation, Maphosa told Chipinge magistrate, Sharon Chipanga he had received the text from someone as a joke, which was viral on social media.
He further told the court the complainants, to whom he forwarded the messages, were his neighbours, adding it was not his intention to make Parenyi and Mwakanya anxious or nervous, but to just share a social media joke.
According to the State, the incident occurred on July 19 this year.
Maphosa pleaded guilty to the charge. Brian Madzura appeared for the State.