Policeman Arrested in Social Media Blitz on Dissent as Imprisoned Opposition Councillor...

Policeman Arrested in Social Media Blitz on Dissent as Imprisoned Opposition Councillor Fights for Freedom

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ZIMBABWEAN police on Friday 10 July 2020 arrested a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) member and charged him with undermining authority of or insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

ZRP members arrested Milton Murairwa, a 31 year-old police officer and charged him with undermining authority of or insulting President Mnangagwa as defined in section 33(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act after he allegedly posted a message which reads “ED ne Team yake Must GO” on a WhatsApp group for police members stationed at Mbare Police Camp.

Prosecutors told Harare Magistrate Denis Mangosi that Murairwa publicly and unlawfully intended to engender feelings of hostility to 46 members who are on the Mbare Family WhatsApp group against President Mnangagwa by posting such a message on a social media platform.

Murairwa, who was represented by Moses Nkomo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), was set free on Saturday 11 July 2020 after he was granted RTGS$3 000 bail by Magistrate Mangosi, who also ordered him not to interfere with state witnesses and to continue residing at his given residential address.

Murairwa is the second police member to be arrested and charged with undermining authority of or insulting President Mnangagwa in the past two months after the law enforcement agents arrested Shungudzemoyo Kache, a police officer, who allegedly told a Harare resident Stanley Mabhachi, who was wearing a scarf with the Zimbabwean flag colours, that President Mnangagwa is a “used condom.”

Meanwhile, the High Court in Masvingo will on Wednesday 15 July 2020 preside over the hearing of a bail application filed by Godfrey Kurauone, the Councillor for Ward 4 in Masvingo Urban constituency, who has been languishing in detention after he was arrested by ZRP members on Monday 6 July 2020 and charged with undermining authority of or insulting President Mnangagwa as defined in section 33(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Kurauone, who serves as the MDC-Alliance party Youth Assembly’s National Organising Secretary, was denied bail by Masvingo Magistrate Patience Madondo on Wednesday 8 July 2020, who ruled that he is a flight risk, who if freed on bail will abscond standing trial.

In court, prosecutors told Magistrate Madondo that the 33 year-old Kurauone accused President Mnangagwa during an address to some commuters, who were queuing and waiting to board a state-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company bus, of leading a corrupt administration and hence should resign.

Kurauone, who is represented by Martin Mureri of ZLHR, is alleged to have uttered the words; “Let’s us unite and remove this corrupt government and Mnangagwa. President Mnangagwa and his criminals must go.”

ENDS

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
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