Mnangagwa’s bond note video clip lands duo in court

As authorities step up onslaught against dissent

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a rally against Western sanctions in Harare, Zimbabwe October 25, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo


ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Sunday 3 May 2020 arrested two men in
Rushinga in Mashonaland Central province and charged them with
undermining authority of or insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa
after they allegedly shared and made remarks on a video clip in which
the ZANU PF party leader brags about the strength of bond notes, the
country’s surrogate currency.

43 year-old Robert Zakeyo and 34 year-old Admire Mupemhi on Monday 4
May 2020 appeared before Bindura Magistrate Mary Msika after they were
arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police members and charged with
undermining authority of or undermining President Mnangagwa in
contravention of section 33(2)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act.

Prosecutors accused Zakeyo and Mupemhi, who were represented by Gift
Mtisi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, of sharing a video clip
onto a Rushinga Residents WhatsApp group on Friday 1 May 2020 showing
President Mnangagwa claiming that the country’s currency is the
strongest in the southern African region.

In the video clip, President Mnangagwa is quoted remarking that; “In
this region, in SADC, the RTG, our RTG, the current currency is the
strongest currency in the region,” while Mupemhi reportedly wrote the
word “frog” in response to the shared video clip.

The video clip, prosecutors claimed, also features Gogo Tsvangirai,
mother to the late former Prime Minister and opposition MDC party
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mupemhi was set free after Mtisi filed an application for refusal of
remand arguing that the charges preferred against his client do not
disclose the commission of an offence to which Magistrate Msika agreed
with the human rights lawyer.

Zakeyo was released on $300 bail and was ordered to report at his
local police once in a fortnight and to continue residing at his given
residential address. He returns to court on 18 May 2020, where his
trial is scheduled to commence.

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