CHIEF justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday put the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to task to explain whether it was constitutional for the State to prosecute politicians for name-calling the Head of State “Gamatox” or “weevil” while addressing political rallies.
Justice Chidyausiku made the statement in apparent reference to the case against former Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora, who stands accused of labelling President Robert Mugabe a “goblin”, during a rally held in Nyanga 2009.
“Politicians call each other names such as weevils and Gamatox, are you suggesting that you prosecute people for that?” Justice Chidyausiku asked the
Prosecutor-General’s representative Admore Nyazamba.
“If somebody calls the President a weevil or Gamatox, are you going to prosecute that person? It is part of the trade of politics. Why are you bringing such matters to the Constitutional Court? The President is not a goblin and we all know that. Why should the law bother itself about it? You have to be an imbecile to believe that the President is a goblin.”
But Nyazamba said in Mwonzora’s case, he had allegedly labelled the Head of State a goblin which “feeds on human blood”.
“The statement causes ridicule to the President who is viewed as a monster, bad person who causes problems and feeds on human blood. This is why the State insists that the statement constitutes an offence,” Nyazamba said.
However, Mwonzora’s lawyer Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara, who appeared together with former ICT minister, Advocate Nelson Chamisa, argued that Mwonzora’s statements did not constitute an offence, adding the statements were subjective and meaningless since Mugabe was not a goblin.
In the same speech, Mwonzora is alleged to have castigated Mugabe’s alleged bad governance, thieving, arrest of innocent individuals and the taking-away of their property.
The State further alleges Mwonzora also undermined police authority.NEWSDAY