War vets sec­re­tary re­manded in cus­tody

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fun­gai Lu­pande Harare Bureau

THE Zim­babwe National Lib­er­a­tion War Veter­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary for in­for­ma­tion and pub­lic­ity, Dou­glas Mahiya, yes­ter­day ap­peared in court fac­ing charges of un­der­min­ing the au­thor­ity of the Pres­i­dent. He was re­manded in cus­tody to today for bail ap­pli­ca­tion. Mahiya’s lawyer, Mr Har­ri­son Nkomo, un­suc­cess­fully ap­plied to have him re­leased by the court on the ba­sis that pros­e­cu­tion did not have a cer­tifi­cate of pros­e­cu­tion from the Prose­cu­tor Gen­eral (PG).

Mr Nkomo sub­mit­ted that un­der Chap­ter 3 of the Crim­i­nal Law and Cod­i­fi­ca­tion Act, it is im­per­a­tive un­der Sec­tion 34 that pros­e­cu­tion produce a cer­tifi­cate signed by the PG.

Pros­e­cu­tors, Mr Tapiwa Kasema and Ms Sharon Fero ar­gued that for pur­poses of place­ment on re­mand the cer­tifi­cate was im­ma­te­rial.

In his rul­ing the mag­is­trate Mr Vakayi Chik­wekwe said the lack of the cer­tifi­cate was a le­gal de­fect that the State should be alive to but there was no need to set aside re­mand.

“The State is or­dered to bring the cer­tifi­cate on Mon­day while other pro­ceed­ings con­tinue,” said Mr Chik­wekwe.

Mr Nkomo pro­ceeded to lodge com­plaints against Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Ncube from CID Law and Or­der Harare for ver­bally in­sult­ing Mahiya.

“He in­sulted the ac­cused say­ing he was con­fused and dis­or­derly to the ex­tent that the dis­or­der­li­ness has ex­tended to his chil­dren,” said Mr Nkomo.

“The se­nior as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner added that the bed­room of the ac­cused’s chil­dren is filthy and un­suit­able for hu­man habi­ta­tion.

“The ac­cused was in­ter­ro­gated from 3PM on July 27 to 2AM on July 28. Not­with­stand­ing the avail­abil­ity of many de­ten­tion cen­tres, they de­tained him at Mat­api Po­lice Sta­tion which was con­demned as un­fit for hu­man habi­ta­tion.

“The al­leged com­mu­niqué, which is the sub­ject mat­ter was not re­trieved through a dili­gent search but was planted by the po­lice for pur­poses of find­ing grounds to ar­rest him.”

Mr Nkomo added that it was wor­ri­some that he was de­nied ac­cess to the court by the po­lice man­ning the court­room.

“I want the of­fi­cer-in-charge of the Harare Mag­is­trates’ Court to sub­mit a re­port and the se­nior as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner in­ves­ti­gated,” he said.

Mr Chik­wekwe or­dered the investigation of the se­nior as­stis­tant com­mis­sioner and that the of­fi­cer-in-charge at the Harare Mag­is­trates’ Court sub­mits a re­port within seven days. The State is op­posed to bail.

Mahiya (61) of Chi­tung­wiza pleaded not guilty to charges of un­der­min­ing the au­thor­ity or in­sult­ing the Pres­i­dent.

It is al­leged that be­tween April 2016 and July 2016 Mahiya, act­ing in con­nivance with other high rank­ing national, pro­vin­cial and dis­trict mem­bers still at large, au­thored 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 in which they al­legedly made defam­a­tory state­ments thereby un­der­min­ing the au­thor­ity of the Pres­i­dent.

The State al­leged that Mahiya cre­ated the com­mu­niqué with the knowl­edge and re­al­i­sa­tion that the con­tents of it may en­dan­ger the feel­ings of hos­til­ity or cause ha­tred, con­tempt or ridicule towards the Pres­i­dent.

On July 21, Mahiya held a meet­ing at Rayl­ton Sports Club in Harare and is­sued the com­mu­niqué to jour­nal­ists lead­ing to the doc­u­ment be­ing pub­lished in News­day and on the in­ter­net. It is al­leged that in an in­ter­view with an SABC reporter, the ac­cused also den­i­grated the Pres­i­dent.

On July 27, a search was con­ducted at the ac­cused’s res­i­dence and copies of the com­mu­niqué were found as well as doc­u­ments ti­tled Re­sponse to the Pres­i­dent’s at­tack on War Veter­ans, which also un­der­mined the Pres­i­dent’s au­thor­ity.

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