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Lumumba to stand trial as Con-court application is rejected

19/08/2016 00:00:00
by Court Reporter
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VIVA Zimbabwe leader Acie Lumumba’s application for referral of his Mugabe slur case to constitutional court was thrown out Friday after Harare magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe ruled that his utterances demeaned the President.

Lumumba whose real name is William Gerald Mutumanje will now stand trial on August 29.

He is charged with undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe after he allegedly used the f-word to attack the veteran leader while launching his political party in June this year.

Magistrate Chikwekwe ruled Friday that it was justified for Mutumanje to go on trial because his utterances demeaned the president’s dignity.

“While one is entitled to freedom of expression, it should not go beyond the scope of mere criticism,” said the magistrate.

“The accused person has to answer the allegations in a criminal trial. His application is not bona fide and consequently dismissed.”

He added: “The president, as a fellow human being, has rights not to be demeaned or abused in any manner.

“This is premised in the principles of our Constitution and has nothing to do with the station held by the human being in question.

“In his speech the accused person uttered the words f**k you to Mugabe and the question which follows is whether it amounts to insulting and whether it would be a violation of one’s rights.

“An insult ought to be distinguished from criticism,” he said.

Prosecutor Oscar Madhume also argued that Lumumba trampled on Mugabe’s rights to dignity.

The former Zanu PF activist however, insists that Mugabe should accept his utterances as a political joke, adding that the 92-year-old leader should develop “shock absorbers and understand the dynamics of politics”.


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