A man appeared in court Tuesday accused of boycotting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for a national day of prayer and fasting after he posted a WhatsApp status saying people were already famishing because “they do not have food.”
In June, Mnangagwa had set the day for the nation to ask for divine intervention against the coronavirus.
But Victor Majoni, 35, a farm manager in Umguza, allegedly posted a WhatsApp status on June 14 – a 59-second clip of a woman who asked Mnangagwa “what other fasting do you want because Zimbabweans are fasting already, they are hungry in their homes?”
The women in the video had also told Mnangagwa to “grow up”, asking: “Do you think before you speak?”
Majoni appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Mjanja charged with “undermining the authority of or insulting the president.”
His lawyer Nqobani Sithole told the court that the constitution provided for freedom of expression, and whoever designed the post, who was not the accused person, “is the one responsible for that content.”
After hearing state witness testimony and cross-examination by the defence, Mjanja ordered the defence to make written submissions of their application for discharge at the close of the state case by October 19, and the prosecution to file its response by October 22.
The magistrate said he will rule on the matter on November 9 when Majoni finishes writing his examinations at the Midlands State University.
Recently, Mnangagwa made astonishing confessions that his government was stalking the daily movements of opponents and critics through their electronic gadgets.