ZIMBABWEAN police have now charged Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya for allegedly undermining authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe in contravention of Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Police officers claimed that Mahiya, who was arrested on Wednesday 27 July 2016 and detained at Matapi Police Station in Harare’s Mbare high-density suburb, produced in connivance with other high ranking national, provincial and district executive members of ZNLWVA, a document captioned “War Veterans Communiqué on the state of Zimbabwe's economy, the ZANU PF party leadership and the way forward for the people of Zimbabwe," between 07 April 2016 and 21 July 2016, which document was later published in local newspapers, South African newspapers and on the internet.
The document, the police charged, has contents that insults, undermine the authority of the president or are likely to engender feelings of hatred, contempt, or ridicule of the president whether in his person or in respect of the president's office.
Mahiya, who is represented by Andrew Makoni and Harrison Nkomo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) joins a growing list of Zimbabweans who have been arrested and charged for allegedly insulting President Mugabe.
Since 2010, ZLHR has assisted over 150 people, who would have been arrested and charged with contravening Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.