The five residents include Charles Ngwena, a security guard with Marondera Municipality, Shown Chinai, Brian Phiri, Caleb Marange and Omega Mutsaru were arrested last month and charged with contravening Section 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Prosecutors allege that the five residents trashed and burnt a banner belonging to Zanu-PF Marondera district political commissar Stewart Matereke.
Matereke claimed in court recently that the value of the banner beaming with President Robert Mugabe’s picture was $300.
According to prosecutors, Matereke was drinking beer with friends at Dombotombo Business Centre in Marondera on 16 October while proudly displaying a banner on the bar wall bearing President Mugabe’s face and inscribed: “Our land is our sovereignty” when the MDC supporters allegedly pounced.
The five MDC supporters allegedly arrived at the business centre in a convoy of five cars and allegedly pulled down the banner and set it on fire. The State alleges that the MDC supporters waited until the banner was burnt to ashes.
“The banner is valued at US$300 and the remaining chuffs can be produced as exhibit,” reads the State outline.
Prosecutors say the MDC supporters who have since been freed on bail had “no right to act in the manner they did.”
Besides the five MDC supporters, dozens of Zimbabweans have in recent years landed in trouble for allegedly tempering with Mugabe’s posters or mocking the ageing former liberation fighter.
In Manicaland, two Honde Valley villagers are facing charges of contravening Section 152 of the Electoral Act after they allegedly destroyed a Mugabe political campaign poster in 2008.
Several MDC legislators have since January this year been brought before the courts for allegedly insulting and undermining the authority of Mugabe.