Friday, June 8, 2018

State withdraws Lumumba’s Mugabe insult case

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The State yesterday withdrew charges before plea against Viva Zimbabwe leader, William Mutumanje, popularly known as Acie Lumumba, who was accused of insulting former President Robert Mugabe.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The State represented by Venancia Matake said they were withdrawing the charges, citing lack of evidence.
“The State is now withdrawing charges against the accused person before plea and we accept that there is no evidence against him,” Mutake said.
Mutumanje, who appeared before magistrate Victoria Mashamba, walked out of the dock a free man.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had also written a letter addressed to Mutumanje’s lawyer David Hofisi on May 17, advising him that they are no longer pursuing the matter.
“We write to advise that there is no public interest in the matter, hence, our decision not to pursue the matter. By copy of this letter, the district public prosecutor for Harare is directed to withdraw charges against the accused person,” the letter read.
Lumumba’s case was referred to the Constitutional Court, arguing that his constitutional right to freedom of expression had been violated when he was charged under section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for the alleged offence.
Allegations against Mutumanje were that on June 30, 2016, when he was launching his political outfit at a hotel in Harare.
It was alleged that Lumumba addressed the people that attended the launch and referring to Mugabe, Mutumanje said “you have not been insulted, you are only insulted by protesters”.
“Mugabe f**k you, I am drawing the red line our kids are in trouble so, it’s a red line, my name is Lumumba, Lumumba, Lumumba.”