BULAWAYO – Zanu PF youth district chairperson Magura Charumbira has been charged with insulting Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko in a telephone conversation, the latest to be arraigned under a tough presidential insult law.
Charumbira is alleged to have threatened violence at the burial of the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister, Shuvai Mahofa, after Mphoko was assigned to preside over the Heroes Acre interment.
It is not clear who recorded the telephone conversation.
Charumbira appeared before magistrate Rachel Mukanga facing charges of making an abusive, indecent or obscene statement about or concerning the President.
He was not asked to plead. He was remanded out of custody on $100 bail to September 26.
The court heard that between August 14 and 19, Charumbira allegedly undermined and insulted the then acting President Mphoko in a telephone conversation.
“Isu seBulawayo tiri kuti taramba ende hatitombodi kana kuti Mphoko atoaddresser, not even. Pangatorwiwa paHeroes Acre ipapo ende pangatotorwiwa nevanhu. (As Bulawayo, we have refused to have Mphoko preside over the funeral at Heroes Acre. If it happens there will be chaos).”
The accused allegedly continued: “Mphoko akangouya kuzoaddresser paHeroes Acre, muchawona hondo yacho handifungi kuti vangayigona…ari ani anoaddresser paHeroes Acre achivenga vana mhamha vedu? Ende verdict ikabuda kuti Mphoko is the one who will be addressing just expect kuti paHeroes Acre pane violence ende kunorovamwa chete. “Hakuna Mphoko anouya paHeroes Acre ozoaddresser. Munhu uya is a problem. Hafaniri because hakodzeri. Nhasi anozoviga ari guest of honour anenge achitaura chii chanotaura except tribalism. Isu tiri kuti paHeroes Acre Mphoko haiti guest of honour, nokuti hatingavigirwi munhu naMphoko isu.
(If Mphoko comes to address there definitely will be war which will be difficult to contain… In what capacity is he coming to address. In what capacity when he hates our mothers. Once the decision is made that Mphoko will address the funeral, be assured of violence at the Heroes Acre. He is a problem and is not fit to preside over a burial. What is he going to say except tribalism?)
Charumbira reportedly said they were not going to allow Mphoko “to bury one of our own. We will rather proceed to our rural home in Gutu in numbers and conduct the burial there than have Mphoko presiding over the burial.”
As if that is not enough, Charumbira stands accused of undermining the authority of the President when he stated that Mugabe made a mistake by appointing Mphoko, who according to him has now proved to be a problem in government and party.