By Professor Matodzi
Harare, March 23, 2016 – Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) authorities have heaped more woes for a police officer charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe by summoning him to a disciplinary hearing for allegedly discrediting the law enforcement agency.
Sergeant Thompson Joseph Mloyie was arrested early this month and slapped with charges of undermining the authority of or insulting President Mugabe in contravention of Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Mloyie is currently on trial before Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe and has pleaded not guilty to charges of undermining the authority of or insulting Mugabe.
But while his trial is ongoing, ZRP officials recently served him with summons to appear before a disciplinary panel to answer to charges of contravening the Police Act.
According to a charge sheet served on Mloyie and seen by RadioVOP, the ZRP claims that the police officer acted in an “unbecoming manner pre-judicial to discipline or reasonably likely to bring discredit to the police force”.
This, according to the employer, was in contravention of paragraph (s) 35 of the schedule to the Police Act Chapter 11:10 including sections 29, 29A (d) and 34 (1) of the Police Act as amended by the Criminal Penalties Act Number 22/2001.
The ZRP charged that the 44 year-old Mloyie insulted the Zanu PF leader by saying “President Robert Mugabe is old and incapable of leading this country. He is the cause of the suffering going on in this country and is married to a prostitute, Grace Mugabe.”
The ZRP stated that Mloyie also pledged his support to former Vice President Joyce Mujuru and his Zimbabwe People First party by saying “Forward with Joyce Mujuru, Forward with Zimbabwe First…”
The law enforcement agency charged that Mloyie had no right to act in the manner he did.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, whose members are representing Mloyie, recently reported that there has been a dramatic increase in the arbitrary application of Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, where individuals have been charged with allegedly “insulting or undermining the authority of the President”.
The organisation said it had since 2010 attended to close to 150 cases where members of the public including police officers have fallen foul of the insult law.