Mahiya intends to challenge remand Douglas Mahiya

Fungai Lupande : Court Reporter

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary for information and publicity Douglas Mahiya yesterday notified the court of his intention to challenge placement on remand on charges of undermining the authority of the President. Mahiya (61), who is on $300 bail, will make the application on the next remand date, September 5, through his lawyer Mr Harrison Nkomo.The prosecutor, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa, stood in for Mr Tapiwa Kasema and Ms Sharon Fero who were not present yesterday.

“We are ready to make the application, but we don’t want to put pressure on State counsel who is not seized with the matter,” said Mr Nkomo.

“We will still challenge further remand on next appearance.”

Mr Nkomo indicated that if the State fails to produce a certificate of prosecution from the Prosecutor-General on the next remand, the matter cannot be heard.

The magistrate, Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe, said there was no trace of a letter written to the PG’s Office and it could be a problem with the Clerk of Court.

Allegations are that between April 2016 and July 2016 Mahiya, acting in connivance with the association’s national political commissar Francis Nhando, secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, national vice chairman Headman Moyo and executive member for Harare province Hoyini Samuel Bhila and other high-ranking national, provincial and district members still at large, prepared a communiqué.

They authored the document headlined, “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 President Mugabe.

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

On July 21, Mahiya allegedly held a meeting at Raylton Sports Club and issued the communiqué to a few journalists leading to the document being published in the 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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