Arrested information secretary of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Douglas Mahiya, has appeared in a Harare court facing charges of allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe.
The organization’s Secretary General Victor Matemadanda is facing similar allegations after they decided to dump President Mugabe last week. At the same time, former Vice President Joice Mujuru has taken Mr. Mugabe to court over a statutory banning the importation of basic commodities and other goods.
State Attorney Tapiwa Kasema told the court that Mahiya allegedly insulted President Mugabe through a communique that was released by his association last week.
Before remand proceeding could start, defense lawyer Harrison Nkomo applied for the withdrawal of charges and immediate release of the top freedom fighter saying he had been brought to court illegally as the state had not obtained a certificate of prosecution from the prosecutor general as required by law in cases of that nature.
Nkomo confirmed that magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe dismissed the application. The case continues in court tomorrow where the magistrate is expected to deliver his ruling on the bail application that was filed by the defense team.
After the court session, some war veterans who attended today’s court session in solidarity with Mahiya sang revolutionary at the court entrance demanding his immediate release.
The war veterans’ body issued a hard-hitting statement last week calling on President Mugabe to address economic issues affecting Zimbabweans. The war veterans also called Mr.Mugabe to choose a successor adding that they would not campaign for him in the 2018 elections because of his advanced age.
In another matter, former vice president Joice Mujuru, who leads the newly formed Zimbabwe People First party, on Friday took Mr. Mugabe to court over his government’s introduction of a statutory instrument that bans the importation of basic commodities and other goods.
In papers filed in the High Court, Mujuru argues that Statutory Instrument 64 was illegal and should be set aside because its promulgation was unlawful. She says instead of duplicating a law that was used by the Ian Smith administration, the president should have ensured that the law passed through parliament before gazetting it.
The former vice president said the statutory instrument has caused untold suffering on many Zibmbabweans who were surviving on importing basic commodities because they could not afford locally produced goods.
The minister of industry and commerce is also cited as a respondent while Marian Chombo, the former wife of Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo, filed a supporting affidavit in Mujuru’s application.
The case is yet to be set down for hearing.