Rights defenders arrested for ‘insulting’ ED at Zupco queue

By Clayton Shereni
Police in Masvingo recently arrested freelance journalist and Zimbabwe Union of Journalist (ZUJ) vice president Godfrey Mtimba and activist Ephraim Mtombeni on charges of undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a Zupco bus queue.
Mtimba and Mtombeni were accused of addressing people at a Zupco queue where they are alleged to have said Mnangagwa and his sons were behind the suffering in the country.
When Mtimba was arrested, the police first charged him of taking pictures of queuing people as Mthombeni allegedly address the commuters.
The charges werelater upgraded to undermining the authority of President Mnangagwa.
Advocate Phillip Shumba, who is representing Mtimba, confirmed the arrest and said his client had been released into his custody awaiting to appear in court.
“We went to CID Law and Order this morning. I can confirm that he (Mtimba) has since been released into my custody pending our appearance in court anytime this week.
“He is facing criminal allegations of contravening Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act,” said Shumba.
Mtombeni, who is the programmes manager for Masvingo Centre for Research and Community Development (Macrad), was picked up by the police yesterday and is remand awaiting trial on June 30.
He is being represented by Martin Mureri on behalf of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).