Law protecting Mugabe from ridicule is unconstitutional

A law that protects President Robert Mugabe from being lampooned is unconstitutional according to  Mwonzora

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
20 March 2014

The MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora has said a law that protects President Robert Mugabe from being lampooned is unconstitutional and impinges on basic fundamental freedoms.

Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that since Mugabe has a habit of publicly ridiculing his political opponents, the law should not protect him when his foes fire back. He said politics is a game of undermining and throwing mud at each other and laws should not be used to selectively crackdown on those who practice it.

The senior MDC-T official said that the law (Section 33 of the Criminal Law Act) functions in a one-sided fashion, where Mugabe literally lampoons his opponents with impunity and gets away with it, while those facing the backlash cannot respond in the same manner.

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday indefinitely postponed a case where Mwonzora was challenging his arrest over charges of insulting Mugabe at a political rally in Nyanga five years ago. The state alleges Mwonzora described Mugabe as a ‘goblin.’

The ConCourt judges quizzed state prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba as to whether such a statement constituted an offence in respect of the Criminal Law Act. The Court wanted an explanation on how somebody expressing himself in figurative expressions, idioms, or relating a dream or a vision, could be committing an offense under section 33.

‘President Mugabe is an opponent of the MDC, just like we are opponents of ZANU PF. We can rarely be asked to say things that are complimentary…we cannot seek to unseat him, which we want to do, without saying things that are not complimentary about him,’ Mwonzora said.

He added: ‘Whether the Concourt thinks I have a case to answer or not is not the issue. The issue is whether we should keep such a law in our statute books. We want the law to go…Zimbabweans should not live with a law like this.’

The law was enacted when Mugabe became executive president in 1987. In the last decade alone dozens of ZANU PF opponents have been arrested on charges of insulting the 90 year-old ruler.

Some including MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore, who called Mugabe ‘a limping donkey’, were arrested and detained for weeks.

In almost all democratic countries, including many in the SADC region, citizens can criticize their leaders without fear of arrest or intimidation.



25 Responsesto “Law protecting Mugabe from ridicule is unconstitutional”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    As of now, the law still prohibits any individual or politician from calling names to the Head of State and Government, R.G. Mugabe. That is the law of the land and until such time this piece of legislation has been repealed, individuals or politicians who violate the law with impunity will have no one to blame but themselves. All laws of the land without exception, should be observed by people of all walks of life if Zimbabweans want the rule of law to prevail in the country. We can not have a set of laws we do not observe or do not like but still cry foul that there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe. Douglas Mwonzora should be told that he can not have his cake and eat it too. He can not call for the rule of law to prevail in the country while at the same time he does not observe some of the laws that are still in place. That is not acceptable.

    • Zim1 says:

      Shut up, you A Hole!!

      • THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

        Lol !!

        You should not be so generous with your praise – he’s behaviour and comments are far too undeserving of it !

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        What do you know buddy? That thick head of yours is like an empty shell of a tortoise or chicken egg. You are crippled in making sound arguments. You can not write coherently and logically. What a shame that you want to silence Chimbwido Warvet. You do not have the fcking brains to do that buddy. Even my uncle Dumbu, argues his case far better in English language than this fcking rhodie although English is supposed to his mother tongue.

    • THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

      Lol !!

      Mugabe and his fellow Zanu PF criminals have never observed a law in their lives – as far as they’re concerned “our laws are only for the little people – so that we can control them, politically, economically, socially and culturally”, in order to maintain our fantastic billionaire lifestyles in the World’s second poorest country, at their cost !

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        All I did was to give you a correct interpretation of the law of the land. As you must be aware, I was not involved in the enactment of this piece of legislation. Can I really be accused for the correct interpretation of the law of this country? Well, if you think the law is wrong, then violate it with impunity next time you visit Zimbabwe and see what happens to you.

        • THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

          As i said, the laws of Zimbabwe are only used against people not connected to the criminal leadership of Zanu PF – The Zanu thieves act with total impunity, secure in the knowledge they will never be arrested no matter how horrendous the crimes they commit ! Murder, Intimidation, assault, threats, theft, fraud, embezzlement, robbery, extortion, assassination – you name the crime and these criminals will have committed it, and yet never have been even arrested, let alone spend a day in prison !

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            If you do not accept my interpretation of the law as it applies to Zimbabwe, then you can fool around and see the outcome of your actions. What you should know is the law enforcement agencies of this country will look at what the law says and deal with those who think the law should be created to serve their foolish interests.
            Win the election next time around and cause the laws you do not like to be amended by your politicians. For now it is ZANU PF that is the ruling political party of this country. It enacts laws that work in its favour and that is as it should be. It is unheard of that a ruling political party can enact laws that militate against its vested interests or to repeal those laws that are distasteful to its opponents. Doing so would be ridiculous and irrational. You have to handle the truth and live by it mate. There is no room for fooling around as this is business as usual. Violate the law of this country at your peril. That is my advice to you.

          • Yepec says:

            The confession has been made in the above comment that Zanu PF rigged the 31 July 2013, elections, in order, to prevent its unfair laws from being repealed. Furthermore, it supports the fact that eight months after the elections were held, the laws of the country, have yet to be aligned to the new Constitution

            However, by confessing to the obvious; the praise singer is trying to make the unacceptable policy of Zanu PF, i.e, “once stolen property is in the hands of a thief then, given these laws, that property belongs to the thief”.

            Although, the confession was made by a little known member on the anti – Mugabe, SW Radio Africa forum; it is legal in the courts of Zimbabwe. Sometimes, there is some gold craftily hidden in the propaganda arguments of Zanu PF.

          • Yepec says:

            Waregererwa “fake, Chimbwido Warvet”, nenzira dzokuti chikoro nekunzwisisa zvishoma. Hence, your advice to write in the mother language so that you can understand the writings too. However, there are non-Shona, speaking readers on the forum to be able to read and understand the comments.

            On your “educated guess” to live in Britain, it is costing you some opportunities. Joseph Chinotimba, was chosen, in the last rigged elections, to praise sing for Zanu PF members of the national Assembly

            Regardless, of how much you may want, the laws in Britain will not be able to protect you from ridicule as the laws in Zimbabwe are protecting Mugabe.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            If Chimbwido Warvet violates the laws of the once called Great Britain, a name it has since stopped to use in its statute books, let him get arrested and prosecuted by the once greatest court of the British people. And by the way do you know why it was once called Great Britain and now the word ‘great’ has been dropped from use by the courts of this country? It is no longer using the name Britain but ‘The United Kingdom’ although it now public knowledge that the country is no longer united as we are made to believe by British politicians, with Scotland intending to secede any time from now. That greatness is falling apart while you can not see what is happening in your eyes. What can I say if you can not handle the truth, my friend. If you believe anything you are told by politicians it is difficult to convince you that even the name United Kingdom is just but a name that has no substance and meaning at present. I guess as the British people, we should now consider another name for our country before the inevitable takes centre stage as the Scottish people are serous about seceding from the union it has maintained with England since year 1701. I am not too sure you understand this my friend. This is also too deep for that fool you know very well as our political analyst for SW Radio Africa, a pirate radio station operating from London.

          • Yepec says:

            Aping Mugabe and his Zanu PF Party, you tried your best to distract the readers’ attention by introducing a new topic. You, then, had an orgy dissecting it, another attempt to keep them on your side but basically, this was a wasted effort in trying to control their minds.

            Knowing the reasons you are feverishly trying all this (whenever cornered rather than denying the charge, distract the attention of the audience by introducing a new topic), an old and worn out trick.

            Did you succeed, fake, Chimbwido Warvet, obviously not. In that case, try again.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            When will you ever learn a thing mate? If you read my posts over and over again, you will not see any mention of Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF. This accusation is clearly imaginary and in your fcking mind, mate.
            I do not have the time to fool around mate but to tell it as is without beating about the bush. You raised the question of ‘laws in Britain’ and I went all the way to point out that our country is no longer called ‘Great Britain’ or even ‘Britain’ but the United Kingdom which I clealy indicated to you that it is no longer a united country as Scotland is planning to secede from the Union both countries had maintained since 1701. I do not see any relevance with Mugabe and ZANU PF here mate.

          • Yepec says:

            To which country (the name you wrote at the time on this forum)? Did you really say that was an “educated guess”, at the end of Chimurega War? Permanently living among the same “rhodies”, you said, you were fighting against? Something is wrong and really twisted in your mind.

            If I might ask, who introduced this name as you are confirming in the comment above? Alas, was that the subject matter of the comment criticising you? What is the relationship of the criticism to your “Great Britain”?

            It is, precisely, for this type of backward looking and thinking that you should be among your own, for instance, reading and commenting in the Herald. I am sure that the staff there will not want to be publicly humiliated by what comes out of you – another stupefied and lost, fellow praise-singer.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            There we go go again. As usual your piece is highly incoherent, illogical and irrational. I could not understand what you are trying to say. I am sorry if I appear to be blunt and insulting to my newly found friend Yepec. I am now a big boy and would not like to crush a cockroach with a sledge hammer.

          • Yepec says:

            As you correctly said, “I could not understand”, it is true but you have already been told that you should move to a forum where the other praise singers are confined. What type of help are you requesting from the readers, Editor or me on the forum?

            As I pointed out, you must transfer yourself to a Herald forum, where other fellow praise singers are kept. “Reading and commenting”, will be but a continuation of the propaganda classes being given at Border Gezi Institute. You will get plenty of help according to the purpose, policy and propaganda of the day.

            Even though, they could not supply you with new the mantras, you had to put your signature here that “I am now a big boy”. Really, fake, Chimbwido Warvet, since when and who made you into a big boy?.

    • Common Sense says:

      So, our resident genius, would you be so supportive of this law if Morgan had become President? (as in fact he did before your father stole the role from him).

      Or let me put it another way, would you agree with the law if ZANU-PF was not in power, of course not.

  2. Mandlenkhosi says:

    This is a critical law for us. Zimbabweans must not be allowed to think bad thoughts about our beloved President. We must do the right thing and express our love and support for our President. We must increase enforcement of this law. Zimbabweans must identify people who may be thinking bad thoughts about our President and report their names to our police so that those thinking bad thoughts can be arrested and put into our prisons. That is the fair and just consequence of having bad thoughts about our President. It is unlawful to think bad things about our government officials and those who may be thinking that way must be arrested and put in prison for treason. That is our law and Zimbabweans are unanimous and agree with it.

  3. Yepec says:

    One way of saying the same thing Douglas Mwonzora said is, “people in glass houses must not throw stones” or people in like situations must not intimidate their opponents.or else, they will intimidate you also.

  4. dingdingwe says:

    Guys you know the saying don’t argue with a fool….its best to leave the asylum seeker known as chimbwido to keep claiming benefits from south London while he praises the mugabe regime. Then when the time is right he will be deported

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Your best bet is to win the election and repeal the law for your leader Morgan Tsvangirai to be insulted by all and sundry. But as of now any funny tricks by rhodies and you in particular will be dealt with most severely.

      Chimbwido Warvet has never sat in the House of Assembly where the laws of the land are manufactured by the policy makers and creators of our laws. The MDC-T politicians were involved in making and repealing laws for the last five years but failed dismally to remove this piece of legislation that prohits fooling around with the name of the only living father, liberator and freedom fighter of Zimbabwe after the demise of comrade Joshua Nkomo. You can hate the man but you can not kill the widely held view that Robert Mugabe liberated you from the iron first of the Ian Smity regime that murdered many Zimbabweans during his illegal and illegimate rule of my country by foreigners who came to this country as visitors but ended calling the shots in Zimbabwe.
      Of course, many of you idiots can not handle the truth and would like to silence Chimbwido Warvet for exposing you for what you are. What a mother fcker who talks nonsense. Chimbwido Warvet has never been an asylum seeker and is a professional who has been gainfully employed for donkey years, you fcking idiot.

      • dingdingwe says:

        Kikikiki ur totem is in the departure lounge. I hear ur immigration is also due for review too bad. Send us a postcard from zvimba donkey rapist

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