Army uniform abuse: Ex-Sunday Mail editor acquitted

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi has been acquitted following his February arrest and trial on charges of abusing the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) uniform.

Kudzayi was caught with a camouflage umbrella while driving in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.

Harare magistrate, Victoria Mashamba ruled it was a shame that the State could come with such a charge considering that an umbrella was never listed as part of camouflage uniform.

“I agree with the defence that an umbrella is not wearable,” she said.

“The law is clear on what constitutes camouflage uniform. An umbrella is not listed.

She continued, “The charge sheet is vague and embarrassing. Merit on application of exception is therefore upheld and the accused is hereby found not guilty and acquitted.”

Kudzayi was represented by Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Shava told that he had instructions to sue the police over his client’s unlawful arrest.

“We are now processing getting the umbrella back and I have instructions to start working on a lawsuit against the State. A lawsuit is on its way,” said the lawyer.

Kudzayi had pleaded not guilty before he successfully challenged prosecution on grounds the charge was not criminal.

He was charged with unlawful possession of camouflage following his arrest last month and was on $RTGS 1000 bail.

The State had alleged Kudzayi was driving along Borrowdale Road when he was stopped by officers who were manning a road block near Winchdon shops.

It was alleged there was a military police officer, Francis Murehwa who realised that there was an umbrella and pouch with camouflage print in Kudzayi’s car.

Court heard the officers had been advised to conduct searches on passing vehicles.

Kudzayi was once accused and later acquitted for being the faceless Facebook character known as Baba Jukwa.