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Zimbabwe Policeman Jailed for Insulting Former President Robert Mugabe

FILE: Inmates are shown at the newly rehabilitated Mlondolozi Prison in Zimbabwe, March 2017. (S. Mhofu/VOA)

A Zimbabwean policeman has been sentenced to 10 days in prison for allegedly accusing former president Robert Mugabe for being too old to rule Zimbabwe.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Sergeant Thompson Joseph Mloyie, was convicted for contravening the Police Act.

Sgt. Mloyie, who has been on trial since January allegedly contravened paragraph 35 of the Schedule of the Police Act, Chapter 11:10 (acting in an unbecoming manner prejudicial to discipline or reasonably likely to bring discredit to the Police Service).

The policeman, who appeared before Superintendent Makunike at Harare Central Police Station, allegedly discredited the police service when he uttered remarks denigrating the former president and his wife.

When he was arrested, he faced charges of undermining the authority of or insulting the president in contravention of Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.

Mloyie was represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Noble Chinhanu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

According to the lawyers group, police claimed that Sgt. Mloyie said, “President Mugabe achembera haachakwanisi kutonga nyika ino. Ndiye arikukonzera (sic) kutambura munyika ino uye akaroora hure Grace Mugabe. (President Mugabe is too old and incapable of leading this country and is the cause of the suffering going on in this country and is married to a prostitute, Grace Mugabe.”

During the trial, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the ZRP lined up two witnesses - Sergeant Stanley Makunda and Sergeant Amos Muchenjero - who are all members of the police service to testify against Mloyie.

Several people have in the past been facing similar accusations.

Mugabe fell from grace when he was removed from office by then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa with the help of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. Mnangagwa is now the president of Zimbabwe.

The ZDF claimed that it wanted to get rid of criminals, surrounding Mugabe, who had taken over all presidential duties in an effort to ensure that his wife succeeded him.

Mugabe says he was unconstitutionally removed from office and has urged the Southern African Development Community, which initially said there was no coup in Zimbabwe, to intervene.

He is currently linked to the National Patriotic Front led by Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri and some of the people who were targeted by the military in the “coup” last November.

They include Professor Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao and several others. Mutinhiri, however, says Mugabe and expelled members of a Zanu PF faction known as Generation 40 are not part of the National Patriotic Front.

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