FALSEHOODS by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s lieutenants have been laid bare after officials from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) hauled a man to appear in court and stand trial for allegedly criticising the ruling ZANU PF party leader for boasting that Zimbabwe had the strongest currency in the SADC region.
President Mnangagwa’s lieutenants had in October misrepresented before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) during its 73rd ordinary session held in Banjul, The Gambia, that freedom of expression is guaranteed in Zimbabwe and that no-one had been arrested for criticising government or practising journalism.
The claims by government representatives before Commissioners of ACHPR and some delegates attending the ACHPR session was in response to submissions by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and other regional and international civic society organisations, which faulted President Mnangagwa’s administration, for failing to guarantee freedom after expression for ordinary citizens.
Now, the NPA on Wednesday 9 November 2022 hauled 43 year-old Robert Zakeyo of Rushinga in Mashonaland Central province to stand trial at Bindura Magistrates Court on charges of contravening section 33 (2)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The trial of Zakeyo, who is represented by Gift Mtisi of ZLHR, came after NPA Acting Prosecutor-General Nelson Mutsonziwa, issued a Certificate of Authority to Prosecute leading to the Rushinga man being summoned to stand trial.
Zakeyo, who is an entrepreneur at Rushinga Business Centre and who had been out of prison custody on bail and after he had also been removed from remand, was arrested on 3 May 2020 after he was accused of posting a video clip on 1 May 2020 on a WhatsApp group called Rushinga Residents of President Mnangagwa issuing a press statement in relation to the strength of the local bond notes currency.
Prosecutors claimed that in the same video clip, there also appeared a lady who was dressed in opposition MDC Alliance party regalia uttering the word “musatanyoko” in vernacular purporting as if the lady was rubbishing President Mnangagwa’s sentiments on the competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s currency.
This reportedly incensed Author Chinyoka, the Acting Coordinator for the ruling ZANU PF party in Rushinga, who is the complainant in the matter, after he came across the messages while browsing through Rushinga Residents WhatsApp Group.
Zakeyo returns to court on 29 November 2022 after Bindura Magistrate Shingirai Mutiro postponed his trial, which could not commence, as he was overwhelmed with other cases.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
FOLLOW US:@ZLHRLAWYERS ON TWITTER | ZIMBABWE LAWYERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ON FACEBOOK