Chief Justice refuses to hear insult law challenge

Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice has refused to hear an urgent application challenging the country’s insult laws, saying it will only be dealt with after elections.

The case, filed by MDC-T Youth Assembly leader Solomon Madzore, was an attempt to have the notorious Section 33 of the Criminal Code struck off as unconstitutional.

The application is the first to challenge the constitutionality of the law, which has been used repeatedly to arrest Zimbabweans for allegedly ‘insulting’ the President.

Madzore himself was recently the victim of this, after referring to Mugabe as a ‘limping donkey’ who should be put out to pasture. The MDC-T youth leader was arrested and held in detention for two weeks.

Madzore, who is the MDC-T candidate for Dzivarasekwa, had filed his ConCourt application hoping to have the matter heard on an urgent basis and before elections, arguing that the law violates three constitutional rights – the right to campaign, the right to hold and communicate opinions, and freedom of expression.

But Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on Monday said the challenge will only be heard after the election on July 31st, because the matter is not ‘urgent’. – SW Radio Africa

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