National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe chairperson Sten Zvorwadza yesterday appeared in court facing charges of insulting or undermining the authority of the President after he described President Robert Mugabe as “daydreaming” for ordering the removal of vendors from the streets.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Zvorwadza (48) was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Josephine Sande, who remanded him to November 16 on $200 bail.
The vendors’ leader, who is represented by Jeremiah Bhamu, is being charged under section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The State did not oppose Zvorwadza’s bail, but asked the court to grant him a sum of $500 bail, but Bhamu asked the court to reduce the bail, saying his client survives on selling paraffin and realises $200 a month.
It is the State’s case that on October 7 this year during a Zanu PF youth assembly meeting, Mugabe ordered the then Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo that vendors should not be allowed to use roads in the central business district as grocery shops the “Nigerian” style.
The State alleges on the next day, Zvorwadza told a local daily that “Mugabe is daydreaming. We will not listen to such nonsense; we are going to stay on the streets. Zimbabweans must understand that Mugabe is old and he is a dead man walking”.
The State alleges Zvorwadza meant through the published statements that Mugabe had no capacity to initiate policies for the betterment of the country, as head of State and also likened him to a dead man, which showed his hatred towards the President.
It is further alleged that Zvorwadza intended to influence resistance against government policy by vendors.
In a related incident, a Kuwadzana man, Abraham Rukwava (28), appeared before the same magistrate for insulting Mugabe after he told fellow passengers in a commuter omnibus that the 93-year-old leader was old and was not able to do anything in the country.
Rukwava was released on $20 bail.
The witnesses in the matter are Godfrey Nashu and Frank Chidemo.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.