Mugabe biscuit man freed

A Mbare Magistrate on Thursday 20 October 2011 freed a 52 year-old Harare resident, Zebediah Mpofu, who was under prosecution for allegedly undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe after his trial failed to commence.

Magistrate Mudondo turned down an application for further remand filed by State prosecutors seeking to postpone Mpofu’s trial after State witnesses failed to turn up in court including the complainant in the matter.

State witnesses and the complainant, Gilbert Matarutse-a known ZANU PF supporter failed to turn up in court for the fourth time since August when the trial was scheduled to commence. The trial was all along being postponed to allow the witnesses and the complainant to appear in court.

Mpofu, a general hand labourer at a private security firm was arrested in October 2010 and charged with contravening Section 33 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 as read with Section 33 (2) (a) of the same Act after he allegedly taunted a workmate that he owed a fruity drink and a packet of biscuits he was enjoying for lunch to economic policies spearheaded by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The State alleged that Mpofu also stated that “President Mugabe had ruined the country and that he was going to be dead by December 2010 then Morgan Tsvangirai would take over as President of Zimbabwe.”

The prosecutors charged that by uttering such statements Mpofu had undermined the authority or insulted Mugabe.

However, Mpfofu’s agony ended on Thursday 20 October 2011 after Magistrate Mudondo removed him from remand and ordered the State to proceed by way of summons if they intend to pursue the matter.

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