Man in trouble for calling Mugabe baboon

August 22, 2011 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

BY SILAS NKALA

BULAWAYO — A Lupane magistrate has issued a warrant of arrest against a
34-year-old man from Gutu in Masvingo after he failed to appear in court,
where he is being charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe.
Michael Mapwika initially appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa
Gwazemba in March, accused of calling Mugabe a baboon.

He was remanded out of custody to April 1 for the continuation of trial
after pleading not guilty to the charges.

But he failed to appear in court, leading to prosecutors applying for the
warrant of arrest on Thursday.

Mapwika was travelling along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road on November 26
last year when he allegedly uttered the offending words.

The state alleged that Mapwika said in Shona “Mugabe haana nebasa rese
handineyi naye ini. Mugabe ndiPresident wokuti chii? Mugabe igudo.” (“Mugabe
is useless, I don’t have anything to do with him. What president. He is a
baboon.”)

He was arrested by police officers who overheard him and was charged with
undermining the authority of the president.

Meanwhile, the case of a white businessman Brian Davison (59) who allegedly
accused police of fundraising for a “broke government of Mugabe” resumed on
Tuesday after the Attorney General’s office recommended his prosecution.

The case had been in limbo since last year because the AG had not given
prosecutors the go ahead.

Foster, of Heyman Road Suburbs in Bulawayo, represented by Matshobana Ncube
and Kucaca Phulu of Phulu and Ncube legal practitioners, appeared before
Lupane resident magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba on Tuesday. But the case was
postponed to August 31 before plea after the key state witnesses, who are
police officers, failed to turn up for unclear reasons.

The state’s case is that Foster, who is the director of Foster Irrigation
Scheme in Bulawayo, on May 19 last year was allegedly driving a Toyota
Fortuner along Victoria Falls road when he was stopped by police at a
roadblock in Lupane.

He was charged for speeding and when he was asked to produce his driver’s
licence and pay a fine, Forster allegedly told the police officers that they
were trying to “raise money for the poor and broke Mugabe government”.
Forster allegedly drove off the scene, but was arrested when he reached
Victoria Falls.

Ncube said his client never insulted Mugabe, but said he would pay the fine
as the government needed the money.

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