A 44-year-old Zimbabwean cop has been charged before a magistrate on charges related to the undermining of authority and insulting the president.
Yes, everyone knows that President Robert Mugabe is Zimbabwe’s longest-serving president and the only African leader the country had known since the end of struggle days.
It is no news either, that many Zimbabweans and opposition parties have cried out about Mugabe’s unending tenure, and that the veteran leader has decided to pay a deaf ear to their wails.
Cases of people arrested for insulting Mugabe are common in Zimbabwe and those convicted are often fined. And I tell you, the cop culprit did not in any way go scott free (not even as a police officer).
To heighten it all, the culprit is a public officer, a cop who often receives salary for protecting lives and property, but failed to protect his lips on that fateful day.
The cop who is based at Craneborne Barracks in Harare is attached to the ZRP Reaction Group. While he stood trial, the court was told Mloyi resides at Tomlison Depot and is currently stationed at Harare Central Police Station.
Thompson Joseph Mloyi’s allegations ensued on Saturday when he entered a barrack on March 5 and started shouting: “President Mugabe is too old to rule and is married to a prostitute.”
But when his colleagues accosted him to deter him from speaking further, Mloyi stormed out of the room and went away. The other police officers then filed a report at Harare Central, leading to his arrest.
Mloyi did not enter a plea at a magistrate’s court in Harare as he was not asked to plead. But he was released after being slapped with a bail of $100.
Last week, a Shamva primary school head and two other persons appeared in court after they were apprehended for sharing what police described as “degrading” images of President Robert Mugabe on the social media.
The trio being the school’s headmaster, Edson Chuwe (42); school typist Edna Garwe, (age not given); and School Development Association (SDA) committee member, Lenman Pwanyiwa (33) were arrested after the act.
They were charged with undermining the authority of and insulting the president as defined in Section 33(2)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
One of the manipulated images displayed President Mugabe being kicked by a white farmer while a cartoon, also shared by Chuwe, showed the President sitting down wearing traditional ornamental beads with the caption ‘Mambo Wedu’.
The trio appeared before provincial magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). They were released on $50 bail each.
Zimbabwean officials have continued to jail citizens for insulting the nonagenarian, despite the law having been abolished by the constitutional court in 2013.
As Mugabe’s rivals multiply, so do attacks on his age. Recently, Joice Mujuru of the newly formed ZPF party told DW that at Mugabe’s age, he should not be even allowed to look “after goats” or make “any serious family decisions.”