Setback for Zanu-PF activist who ‘incited’ Chiwenga to stage coup against Mnangagwa
A former Zanu PF district chairman in Mashonaland Central, accused of circulating messages instigating Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to stage a coup against President Emmerson Mnangagwa had his application to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) rejected.
Bindura Magistrate Tinashe Ndokera dismissed the application by Goodman Musariri who wanted the ConCourt to determine the constitutionality of insult laws after he was charged with undermining the authority of or insulting President Mnangagwa.
He was arrested in 2020 and charged with “undermining the authority” of Mnangagwa after allegedly posting the messages on WhatsApp groups he founded.
The Zanu PF activist is represented by his lawyers Tinomuda Shoko and Paidamoyo Saurombe of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
In a statement on Twitter, ZLHR confirmed on Tuesday that Musariri’s application for referral to the ConCourt had been dismissed.
“In Bindura, Magistrate Tinashe Ndokera dismissed an application for referral to ConCourt seeking to determine the constitutionality of insult laws filed by Zanu PF party member Goodman Musariri, who was charged with undermining authority of or insulting President Mnangagwa.
“Musariri, who was arrested in 2020 is accused of circulating messages on 3 WhatsApp groups endorsing Vice President Chiwenga to take over leadership of Zanu PF party as President Mnangagwa lacks authority & drive to lead the ruling party & Zimbabwe.
“He allegedly posted messages on 3 WhatsApp groups namely ‘People’s General Xi-wenga’ ‘Zanu PF Mash Central Build Up’ & ‘Legacy of our struggle’ of which he is the Administrator. He returns to court on 14 December. He is represented by @mudashoko & @PaidaSaurombe of @ZLHRLawyers,” ZLHR said.
In his defense, Musariri told NewsDay that he joined Zanu PF at the young age of 15 in 1995. He added that he later dropped his push for a Chiwenga presidency and decided to take on Mnangagwa himself, resulting in his arrest.
“I believe my arrest was politically-driven following my intention to challenge Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power,” he said.
“I became a fan of the Operation Restore Legacy of November 2017, which was led by General Chiwenga and the army which I believed was going to end up with the formation of much-awaited transitional authority led by Chiwenga himself.
“I find Mnangagwa’s ascendancy through the unsanctioned Zanu PF central committee caucus of November 19 2017 unlawful, null and void.” Nehanda Radio