Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Controversial Mnangagwa ally to stand trial for undermining Mugabe

By Fungai Lupande

The court yesterday ruled that musician-cum-politician Energy Mutodi, who is accused of undermining President Mugabe on his Facebook page, has to stand trial.

VP Mnangagwa seen here with Energy Mutodi with the coffee mug that torched a political storm
VP Mnangagwa seen here with Energy Mutodi with the coffee mug that torched a political storm

Mutodi, who is represented by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, challenged remand on the basis that the facts contained in the charge did not disclose an offence.

In dismissing the application, Harare magistrate Ms Josephine Sande said although Mutodi argued that he was exercising his constitutional right of freedom of expression, the right is not absolute.

“Freedom of expression cannot be seen infringing on others. These are political issues which can erupt into chaos,” said the magistrate. “Accused has to face his allegations. There is reasonable suspicion that he committed an offence. The matter has to proceed to trial.”

The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa postponed the matter to September 29.

The State is alleging that on August 6 this year, Mutodi posted messages that have an effect of causing disaffection among the Defence Forces and undermining authority of, or insulting the President of Zimbabwe on his Facebook page.

Mutodi was arrested after he wrote on his social networking wall, Facebook, that Zimbabwe risked a coup if the thorny succession issue was not resolved amicably, adding that President Robert Mugabe should consult the army to avert chaos.

“While a military takeover may be far-fetched in Zimbabwe, it is important for . . . Mugabe to be careful in naming his successor. Any suspicion of unfairness or discrimination on account of tribalism or factionalism may backfire,” he wrote.

“There are key stakeholders that need to be consulted among them the military and the whole security establishment called the Joint Operations Command that is chaired by vice president Mnangagwa,” he went on. The Herald/Daily News