Bindura councillor acquitted over anti-Mnangagwa slur

BINDURA Magistrate Maria Musika on Wednesday 30 October 2019 set free
Brian Kembo, a Councillor for Ward 3, who had been on trial on charges
of disorderly conduct for allegedly stating that President Emmerson
Mnangagwa is liable for the suffering that citizens are currently
enduring and for authoring the country’s economic crisis.

During trial, prosecutors alleged that the 36 year-old Kembo, who was
represented by Idirashe Chikomba of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) engaged in disorderly conduct when he allegedly stated that
several people in Zimbabwe were stressed owing to President
Mnangagwa’s failure to fix the country’s economic crisis after winning
the 2018 presidential election.

The prosecutors claimed that Kembo boarded a commuter omnibus on 24
October 2018 in Bindura in Mashonaland Central province, where during
a conversation with another resident he blamed President Mnangagwa for
failing to alleviate the current economic crisis, which has led to
price hikes of basic commodities in the country.

But Magistrate Musika on Wednesday 30 October 2019 acquitted Kembo
after ruling that the evidence presented in court during trial by the
State was vague and does not warrant a conviction.

Magistrate Musika ruled that the State failed to lead evidence from
some independent witnesses to corroborate the evidence of the two
State witnesses who testified during trial as Kembo had in his defence
indicated that there was bad blood between himself and the complainant
due to different political affiliations.