Oliver Chikumba’s offence: Refusing to sign the so-called anti-sanctions petition and allegedly calling for Mugabe to travel to Hwange for a personal meeting with him.
The 27-year-old Hwange Colliery boilermaker is now before the court accused of having “intentionally uttered a statement concerning the President with the knowledge or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that it may cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of the President.”
“That is rubbish handidi kusaina nokuti andisi Zanu (PF) member ini ndiri member yeMDC-T.
Ini ndiri kuda iye Robert Mugabe wacho pano kwete iwewe,” are the words the State alleges were uttered by Chikumba after party activist Samukeliso Mlonyeni asked him to sign the petition. A police translation to the boilermaker’s words reads: “That is rubbish.
I do not want to sign because I am not a Zanu (PF) member. I am a member of MDC-T. I want Mugabe himself and not yourself.”
It was not even the police that arrested Chikumba. Mlonyeni tasked State intelligence officers Darlington Nhova, Marshal Nyoni and Elijah Majoni to apprehend him. In papers filed in court, Nhova states that his crew “traced” Chikumba until “we got him” at Baobab Hotel.
Several civil society groups such as the Zimbabwe Peace Project and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition have repeatedly accused State institutions of joining hands with Zanu (PF) activists to force people to sign the petition.
Government officials, including cabinet ministers, have repeatedly said Mlonyeni’s workplace, the Youth Ministry, is the hub of ghost workers.
Citing an independent audit, they accuse Zanu (PF) of stuffing its activists in the ministry from where they draw a government salary for doing party work. Chikumba is denying the charges. “I do not admit to the charges levelled against me. I only said that I will not sign the anti-sanctions
petition forms since they were for Zanu (PF) and I belong to the MDC-T. I did not mention anything about the President of Zimbabwe,” he states in his warned and cautioned statement.Post published in: Politics