Bindura councillor pleads not guilty in trial over anti-Mnangagwa slur

…as court acquits Mashokoto in another insult case

A BINDURA man on Wednesday 9 October 2019 pleaded not guilty to
charges of disorderly conduct as his trial for allegedly stating that
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is liable for causing the suffering that
citizens are currently enduring and for authoring the country’s
economic crisis.

Brian Kembo, a resident of Bindura in Mashonaland Central province,
who is also a Councillor for Ward 3 appeared before Magistrate Maria
Musika who presided over his tria on Wednesday 9 October 2019.

During trial, prosecutors alleged that the 36 year-old Kembo, who is
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 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.

Two witnesses have testified against Kembo, who returns to court on
Thursday 24 October 2019, when Magistrate Musika is expected to hand
down her ruling on his application for discharge at the close of the
prosecution case.

Meanwhile, Bindura Magistrate Langton Ndokera on Tuesday 8 October
2019 set free Saymore Mashorokoto who had been on trial on charges of
disorderly conduct for allegedly telling Tichaona Svinurai, a fellow
resident that President Mnangagwa had dismally failed to revive the
country’s political and economic fortunes and that he should hand over
power to opposition MDC Alliance party leader Nelson Chamisa.

During trial, prosecutors said the the 45 year-old Mashorokoto, who
was charged with contravening section 41(b) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act, had acted in a disorderly conduct and
had used threatening, abusive, or insulting words intending to provoke
a breach of the peace or realising that there was a real risk or
possibility that a breach of the peace may be provoked.

But Magistrate Ndokera acquitted Mashorokoto, who was represented by
Tinomuda Shoko and Blessing Nyamaropa of ZLHR, after ruling that the
evidence presented in court during trial by the State does not warrant
a conviction.

Magistrate Ndokera ruled that there was no evidence presented in court
to corroborate the testimony of the witness who testified in court
against Kembo.

Magistrate Ndokera also stated that before bringing such cases as
Kembo’s to court, the complainant and ZRP should seriously consider
the impact they pose to the country.