A man charged with disorderly conduct for saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa has failed to revive Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes was acquitted on Thursday, his lawyers said.
Saymore Mashorokoto, 45, is free to speak more after magistrate Langton Ndokera threw out the charges.
Mashorokoto was arrested together with Evermore Kakurira, 46, in September and charged with disorderly conduct, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
The two men were accused of telling one Tichaona Svinurai, a fellow resident, that Mnangagwa “had dismally failed to revive the country’s political and economic fortunes and that he should hand over power to opposition MDC Alliance party leader Nelson Chamisa.”
They were accused of contravening section 41(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Prosecutors said by uttering such words to Svinurai, the pair had acted in a disorderly conduct and “used threatening, abusive, or insulting words intending to provoke a breach of the peace or realising that there was a real risk or possibility that a breach of the peace may be provoked.”
Charges were later dropped against Kakurira.
Meanwhile, the trial of a Bindura councillor also charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly stating that “people in Zimbabwe are stressed owing to President Mnangagwa’s failure to fix the country’s economic crisis after winning the 2018 presidential election” commenced on Thursday.
Ward 3 councillor Brian Kembo pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Ndokera.
His trial continues.