Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Former Zanu-PF activist William Mutumanje, better known as Acie Lumumba, will stand trial on charges of insulting President Mugabe, a Harare magistrate ruled on Friday.
However, magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta took a swipe at the State, which she accused of being con- fused.
“I want to register my displeasure at State,” she said. “They are not serious and they are confused. One minute they want to withdraw charges, the next minute they don’t. The next minute they want to proceed to trial, but they don’t have the docket.
“If it was not for State’s blowing hot and cold, the Constitutional Court could have made a ruling on the matter by now. If I am to remove the accused from remand, State will summon him back. So, to stop the roller-coaster; I am remanding him to August 17 for trial.”
Ms Sabarauta advised Mutumanje to reinstate his application at the Constitutional Court if he so wished.
Mutumanje recently withdrew the constitutional application when the prosecution advised the Constitutional Court that it was withdrawing the charges against him.
But prosecutor Mr Oscar Madhume advised the court on Tuesday that he was not withdrawing charges against Mutumanje.
He said he was waiting for prosecuting authority from the Acting Prosecutor-General Roy Goba to proceed to trial.
Mutumanje made an application at the Constitutional Court, arguing that his utterances did not constitute an offence and that his constitutional rights as enshrined in the Constitution were being infringed upon.
He abandoned the application after the State, led by law officer Mr Edmore Nyazamba, agreed to withdraw the criminal charges against him.
Later, the prosecution made a U-turn, insisting on proceeding to trial.
It is the State’s case that on June 30, last year, Mutumanje, who was addressing people during the launch of his political party, said: “Mr President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, f*** you”.