A Beitbridge couple was freed yesterday after their trial for undermining authority of or insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa failed to start for over a year.
Sarudzayi Jani and Remember Ncube allegedly posted a photoshopped image of the President in a nude state on WhatsApp last year.According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Magistrate Gwazemba recently removed Jani and Ncube from remand as the State failed to put them on trial 17 months after they were arrested.
Police officers who arrested the couple claimed that they made an abusive, indecent or obscene statement about Mnangagwa.They said that may engender feelings of hostility towards him, with the knowledge that the statement is false, as revealed by some media outlets at the time.
The couple allegedly shared a nude picture of Mnangagwa wearing Zanu-PF regalia around his neck with a male organ adorned with a mask at its end on a WhatsApp group for residents in Ward 3 of Beitbridge.
Chief Inspector Kenneth Mushongahande of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, who is a member of the residents’ WhatsApp group, reported the couple to law enforcement agents, who arrested and detained them overnight at Beitbridge Urban Police Station.
Mushongahande said police officers “hunted” and arrested the couple, who had no right to publish the Photoshopped picture.