Cops drop insult charges

Police have dropped all charges against a man accused of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Stanley Nyengerai Makundidze, the MDC-T District Organising Secretary for Bulawayo Central was arrested on June 9. Magura Charumbira and two other men, all of whom are Zanu (PF) activists, are alleged to have assaulted him before seizing his phone and handing it over to police.

“My thinking is that in order to protect the Zanu (PF) cadres from prosecution, police have dropped charges against me,” said Makundidze. “I reported Charumbira and his friends to the police for assaulting me. Police have refused to pursue the case even though the assault left a big swelling on my head.”

“Taona nyaya yacho isina tsarukano tikati tikudzorere foni yacho (We have seen that the case is weak. That is why we are returning your phone),” said Officer D. Chikohomero of Bulawayo Central Police station.

Makundidze’s wife said, “It is very possible that those who assaulted Makundidze may have uploaded the so called ridiculing videos and images to Stanley’s phone. This can be done in many ways such as use of the bluetooth mechanism. After all, the phone was in Charumbira’s possession when the report was made to the police.”

MDC-T Bulawayo Province Deputy Organising Secretary, Tsepiso Mpofu, who spoke in her individual capacity, added that, “Last year on February 20, MDC-T activists Mpumelelo Donga, Calvin Ncube and Gift Given Mlala were charged with ‘Causing Hatred, Contempt or Ridicule of the President.’ Their crime was to laugh after they picked up a cartoon in street.”

In the case that became known as the cartoon trio case, Bulawayo Magistrate Nkhosana-Matimbe, set the MDC-T activists free.

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