Opposition leader off the hook for insulting Mugabe
ZIMBABWE’S National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has withdrawn charges leveled against a politician who openly insulted his former ally, the deposed president, Robert Mugabe. “Opposition leader off the hook for insulting Mugabe“.
William Lumumba, the former youth leader of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) infamously used the F-word against the veteran as he challenged him to resign.
The utterances were made in Harare in 2016 as Lumumba launched his Viva Zimbabwe political party.
He accused Mugabe of mismanaging the country’s political and economic affairs.
He was arrested and charged with undermining authority of or insulting the President in contravention of the constitution.
Scores of activists were over the years charged under the draconian legislation for their opposition to Mugabe ruling the Southern African country with an iron fist since independence in 1980.
However, NPA dropped charges against Lumumba, ruling the case was not in the public interest.
NPA, in a statement to Lumumba’s lawyers, said it was no longer interested in prosecuting the Viva Zimbabwe leader in the wake of Mugabe’s ouster in November last year.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which represented Lumumba, had petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the validity of the charges filed against him arguing that the state was violating his right to freedom of expression.
Mugabe lost control of his factionalised party, prompting the military to briefly take over power.
His successor and former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is mending strained relations with the international community, local critics and the opposition in an effort to end hostilities in the polarised Southern African country.
– CAJ News
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