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‘Mugabe toilet paper’ man cleared by court
28/08/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies
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A MASVINGO magistrate’s court has acquitted a man charged with intending to use a poster of President Robert Mugabe as toilet paper in a local bar, his lawyer has confirmed.

Prosecutors had accused Takura Mufumisi, 26, of violating election laws by destroying a campaign poster.

However, the court ruled that it had failed to prove its case, Mufumisi's lawyer said.

Mugabe, 89, won a seventh term in office after beating his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, in elections on 31 July.

Tsvangirai denounced the election as a sham, claiming he had been cheated of victory.

Mufumisi was arrested at a bar in Masvingo less than a week before the election.

A prosecutor told the court that Mufumusi entered a bar toilet in the town with the intention to relieve himself.

While inside, he was spotted by the informant, tearing up Mugabe's poster which he found inside and allegedly using it as toilet paper.

The informant immediately effected a citizen's arrest on Mufumusi and took him to a police station.

Court papers, however, did not state if Mufumusi was arrested after he had already relieved himself.

Mufumusi was acquitted by a magistrate's court because of a lack of evidence, his lawyer, Shumba Phillip, told the BBC.

"The state had one witness only, whose testimony was to the effect that he only saw the accused person in the toilet," he added.

Mufumisi was acquitted on 5 August, but his case has come to light only now and has become a talking point among many Zimbabweans.

Another lawyer, Kumbirai Mafunda, said there were a growing number of cases of people accused of insulting Mugabe.

"We believe this is an infringement of their freedom of expression," he said.

In March, a senior member of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, Solomon Madzore, was arrested after being accused of calling Mr Mugabe a "limping donkey" at an election rally.

He denied a charge of insulting the president.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, won with 61% of the presidential vote against 34% for Tsvangirai in the 31 July election.

The poll ended the power-sharing government the two leaders formed in 2009 to end conflict in Zimbabwe.


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