By Tendai Kamhungira
MDC women’s assembly chairperson Lynette Karenyi, who was accused of insulting former president Robert Mugabe, is off the hook after the State indicated yesterday that it was withdrawing the charges.
The senior opposition member, who was initially arrested seven years ago, before being freed, with the State saying it would proceed by way of summons, was charged with undermining authority of or insulting Mugabe in contravention of Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23).
Karenyi went on to approach the Constitutional Court, challenging her prosecution.
However, prosecutor Editor Mavuto, yesterday advised the court that they intended to withdraw the charges, resulting in Karenyi also withdrawing her Constitutional Court application.
“By consent of the parties, it is agreed that: applicant (Karenyi) shall withdraw the proceedings filed under case number CCZ 86/13 pending before the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe held at Harare. Respondent (the State) shall withdraw the criminal charges under CRB 3304/11 pending before the Magistrates’ Court for the eastern region held at Mutare,” the notice of withdrawal reads.
According to court papers, Karenyi, who was represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), had allegedly insulted Mugabe, by claiming that he was gay.
The State claimed Karenyi insulted Mugabe at a rally held at Nhedziwa football grounds, in Manicaland Province on December 9, 2011.
She reportedly uttered the words; “Robert Mugabe president veZanu PF aiita zvehomosexuality naJonathan Moyo uyezve Canaan Banana aiitazve’ (Zanu PF’s president Robert Mugabe practiced homosexuality with Jonathan Moyo and Canaan Banana used to do the same)”.
The State claimed that she unlawfully and intentionally made the abusive, indecent or obscene statement concerning the (then) president, realising that there was real risk of possibility that the statement may be false and that it may cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of the head of State. DailyNews