Watsomba Villagers Undress Auxillia Mnangagwa
15 April 2024
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By Political Reporter- The First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa was last Wednesday booed by villagers at Watsomba Business Centre in Manicaland province.

The villagers, predominantly women, voiced their discontent after reportedly missing out on the charitable offerings being distributed by Mnangagwa as part of her philanthropic endeavours.

However, instead of addressing their grievances, the response was swift and heavy-handed.

Nine women, identified as Nester Chatiwana, Panashe Machekanzondo, Winnet Sithole, Maria Choto, Esnath Choto, Ellen Rujuwa, Faith Chidhakwa, Patience Matasva, and Joyce Mashingaidza, found themselves in police custody, accused of disrupting the peace under section 41(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

According to the prosecution, the women’s actions were deemed disorderly, disrespectful, and aimed at causing a disturbance during Mnangagwa’s speech. Their alleged conduct, which included booing the First Lady, was considered an affront to her dignity.

Yet, amidst the legal proceedings, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) intervened.

Lawyers Tatenda Sigauke and David Tandiri secured the release of the women on free bail, highlighting potential procedural irregularities in their arrest.

The defense presented by Chatiwana and her companions refuted the charges, asserting they were unfairly targeted in a sweeping arrest operation.

They maintained they had left the venue before Mnangagwa concluded her speech and before any dismissal announcement was made.

This incident of public dissent against a prominent figure mirrors a similar event in November 2017, when ZANU PF youths heckled former First Lady Grace Mugabe at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

The repercussions of that incident, where youths faced prosecution for insulting Mugabe, resonate with the current situation.

It’s worth noting that the ZANU PF youths, also represented by ZLHR, were eventually acquitted after charges of insulting or undermining the former First Lady were dropped.

The echoes of past confrontations between the public and political figures underscore ongoing tensions within Zimbabwe’s political landscape, raising questions about freedom of expression and the limits of dissent in the country.