Man jailed for email

HARARE - In the first case of its kind, a man was convicted for being in possession of a printed email message said to denigrate President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Tendai Murove was on 23 August charged and convicted, after pleading guilty, to contravening section 26(1)(

a) as read with section 33 of the colonial Censorship and Entertainment Control Act. He was found in possession of a six-page letter sent to him by a friend.
The message, written in Shona, makes reference to Mugabe and Mujuru, while mocking Mugabe for his economic policies and Zimbabwe’s record inflation.
“There is no drop of fuel in Zimbabwe. Neither is there a sign of beer. I pray that Bush (George) and Blair (Tony) can come and rid us of this bespectacled man,” the emailer laments.
“My sister-in-law hails from a wealthy family. She only gets reminded of matters to do with Zimbabwe’s economic problems and inflation when Gono (Gideon, Central Bank governor) presents his monetary policy statements.
“She has sizeable round bottoms. From that you can tell she grew up sitting on a sofa unlike those (bottoms) of Mai Mujuru which were repeatedly scratched by thorny bushes and bullets during the liberation war.”
Murove was convicted and fined Z$1 million (US$33) or seven days imprisonment.
Murove was initially arrested for public drinking in Harare’s Avenues area. The police then discovered the document on him.
MISA-Zimbabwe said it was outraged that Murove was charged and convicted for something that he had not even authored. “Section 20 of the Zimbabwean Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to receive and to disseminate information.
“We actually believe that section 26 of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act is ultra vires the Constitution, and should be challenged,” said the press-freedom body. – Own Correspondent

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