Ex-minister summoned over 2005 Mugabe insult
by Godfrey Mtimba
Tongai Matutu, the ex-deputy minister of Indigenisation, has been summoned to the Gweru Magistrates Court to answer charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe in 2005.
He is facing charges of violating sections of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) when he allegedly called Mugabe a “dog”.
The case was brought to trial eight years ago, but failed to take-off after the state failed to produce witnesses.
The case was supposed to be heard on Friday, but the State failed to produce witnesses, causing a postponement.
Matutu said he was surprised to see the case being revived.
“I believe this is no longer a pursuit for justice but for a person,” Matutu said.
“This is a grand plan by Zanu PF to victimise members of the opposition who are perceived vibrant and outspoken.”
According to summons seen by the Daily News, Matutu’s allegedly committed the offence on June 25, 2005 at a rally held at Feri business centre in Zaka.
He faces charges of contravening Section 16 (2) (b) of Posa.
The summons accuses Matutu of attempting to cause public disorder or incite an uprising and insulting the president.
“He uttered words that were threatening or insulting, intending to provoke a breach of peace or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that a breach of the peace may be provoked,” reads part of the summons.
It further charged him of calling Mugabe a dog and likening him to a tsunami.
“I have never seen a dog like Mugabe, a tsunami that killed people,” Matutu is alleged to have said, according to the charge sheet.
“Zanu PF is not giving MDC-T supporters maize grain and you just stand watching and praying yet you are being ill-treated. The people should rise up against the government and not the other way round.”
But Matutu said the case was “lifeless” and failed to kick off on Friday ostensibly because it was weak and no one was willing to testify against him.
This is not the first time Matutu has fallen foul with the law.
In 2010, he was convicted of assaulting Chief Serima, born Vengesayi Rushwaya, and fined $100 or 25 days in prison.
He appealed against the sentence and conviction.