Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
The court yesterday ruled that musician-cum-politician Energy Mutodi, who is accused of undermining President Mugabe on his Facebook page, has to stand trial.
Mutodi, who is represented by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, challenged remand on the basis that the facts contained in the charge did not disclose an offence.
In dismissing the application, Harare magistrate Ms Josephine Sande said although Mutodi argued that he was exercising his constitutional right of freedom of expression, the right is not absolute.
“Freedom of expression cannot be seen infringing on others. These are political issues which can erupt into chaos,” said the magistrate. “Accused has to face his allegations. There is reasonable suspicion that he committed an offence. The matter has to proceed to trial.”
The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa postponed the matter to September 29. The State is alleging that on August 6 this year, Mutodi posted messages that have an effect of causing disaffection among the Defence Forces and undermining authority of, or insulting the President of Zimbabwe on his Facebook page.
He wrote that Zimbabwe risked a coup “if the thorny succession issue” was not resolved amicably.