Mutare Magistrates court has ended the month-long detention of a 28 year-old Mutare man, who had been languishing in prison after he was arrested and charged for blaming President Emmerson Mnangagwa for causing misery in his life.
Elroy Anesu Muchaya, an unemployed resident of Sakubva high-density suburb in Mutare, was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on 6 September 2023 and charged with undermining authority of or insulting the President as defined in section 33(2)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
According to prosecutors, Muchaya visited ZRP Mutare Traffic Charge Office, which was manned by Ignatius Maziveyi, a ZRP officer, who was on duty, in the early hours of 6 September 2023, where the 28 year-old man allegedly stepped on the counter and removed President Mnangagwa’s portrait and uttered the words “Munhu uyu arikukonzeresa kuti nditambure”, which was translated to mean “This person is the one who is causing my suffering” while holding the portrait close to himself.
Prosecutors said Muchaya’s alleged utterances were unlawful, abusive, indecent and obscene and he had no right to act in the manner he allegedly did.
Muchaya was released from prison on 5 October 2023 on free bail granted by Mutare Magistrate Prisca Manhibi, after his lawyers Chris Ndlovu of Zimbabwe Lawyers from Human Rights and Takunda Musara of Gonese Ndlovu Legal Practitioners, challenged his continued detention in jail and applied for his release.
Muchaya returns to court on 19 October 2023.