President Mnangagwa’s lieutenants had in October misrepresented before
the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) during its
73rd ordinary session held in Banjul, The Gambia, that freedom of
expression is guaranteed in Zimbabwe and that no-one had been arrested
for criticising government or practising journalism.
The claims by government representatives before Commissioners of ACHPR
and some delegates attending the ACHPR session was in response to
submissions by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and other
regional and international civic society organisations, which faulted
President Mnangagwa’s administration, for failing to guarantee freedom
after expression for ordinary citizens.
Now, the NPA on Wednesday 9 November 2022 hauled 43 year-old Robert
Zakeyo of Rushinga in Mashonaland Central province to stand trial at
Bindura Magistrates Court on charges of contravening section 33 (2)(b)
of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The trial of Zakeyo, who is represented by Gift Mtisi of ZLHR, came
after NPA Acting Prosecutor-General Nelson Mutsonziwa, issued a
Certificate of Authority to Prosecute leading to the Rushinga man
being summoned to stand trial.
Zakeyo, who is an entrepreneur at Rushinga Business Centre and who had
been out of prison custody on bail and after he had also been removed
from remand, was arrested on 3 May 2020 after he was accused of
posting a video clip on 1 May 2020 on a WhatsApp group called Rushinga
Residents of President Mnangagwa issuing a press statement in relation
to the strength of the local bond notes currency.
Prosecutors claimed that in the same video clip, there also appeared a
lady who was dressed in opposition MDC Alliance party regalia uttering
the word “musatanyoko” in vernacular purporting as if the lady was
rubbishing President Mnangagwa’s sentiments on the competitiveness of
This reportedly incensed Author Chinyoka, the Acting Coordinator for
the ruling ZANU PF party in Rushinga, who is the complainant in the
matter, after he came across the messages while browsing through
Rushinga Residents WhatsApp Group.
Zakeyo returns to court on 29 November 2022 after Bindura Magistrate
Shingirai Mutiro postponed his trial, which could not commence, as he
was overwhelmed with other cases.