‘Mugabe was better than Mnangagwa’ Zanu PF activist off the hook

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By Felix Matasva I Manicaland Correspondent

A Zanu PF member from Manicaland, who ranted on social media that late former president Robert Mugabe was a better leader as compared to his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been removed from remand.

Malcolm Masarira was last Friday picked up by police for expressing his thoughts on social media after he was reported by Zanu PF central committee member, Esau Mupfumi, who is the complainant.

Manicaland provincial magistrate, Richard Ramaboa, on Monday said Masarira will return to court by way of summons.

Masarira, a former Makoni Zanu PF Ward  14 chairperson, spent the weekend in cells at Mutare Central Police Station charged with criminal insult as defined in Section 95 (1) (a) of Criminal Law (Codification Reform Act) Chapter 9:23.

It is alleged that on August 5 this year, accused person posted messages that undermined Mnangagwa’s leadership on a WhatsApp group titled ‘Zanu PF Election Indaba.’

“People are suffering out there and our structures are empty. People have lost confidence in the party because they feel neglected.

“If that can be fixed zvoreruka (the burden would be lessened)…I remember the genius Robert Mugabe during time yema interface, vanhu vachichema so achitaura mdra uyu (people were complaining, but) addressing issues that would have been raised at provincial level.

“President ngavaudzwe zviri paground zvaminama (He must be told what is on the ground is not looking good),” reads part of the message allegedly posted by Masarira.

It is the state’s case that by posting such a message Masarira had the intention to impair Mnangagwa’s dignity as State president.

The insult law was scrapped in 2013 by Constitutional Court after it was challenged by human rights defenders on many occasions.

They argued that the legislation infringed on freedom of expression, especially concerning public figures.