MUTARE – A Zanu PF activist has been arrested and charged for wishing President Emmerson Mnangagwa could pick up his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s ‘genius’ hand in reversing the country’s economic mess.
Malcom Musarira, 32, a resident of the border city’s Chikanga suburb, invited trouble when he posted in a party WhatsApp group that the country’s economic decline was now untenable and should be addressed urgently.
His crime was to compare Mnangagwa with Mugabe, a leader who was ousted by the incumbent with the help of the military 2017 over ostensible claims the now late ruler had run down the economy.
According to a police charge sheet whose contents are now circulating on social media, Musarira insulted Mnangagwa by suggesting he was “below par”.
Reads the charge sheet, “On the 5th of August 2022 the accused posted a defamatory message on a ZANU PF WhatsApp group called ‘ZANU PF Election Indaba’ by posting messages that insult the president E.D Mnangagwa and words quoted ‘People are suffering out there and our structures are empty vanhu have lost confidence in the party because they feel neglected…..if that can be fixed zvoreruka…..I remember the genius Robert Mugabe during time yema interface, vanhu vachichema so achitaura nekufara mdara uyu addressing issues that would have been raised at Provincial level…..President ngavaudzwe zviri pa ground zvaminama. ‘Translated to say in short the current President is not doing enough’.”
Added police in the charge sheet, “The accused person insulted the President Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa by comparing him with the late former president Robert Mugabe, that is to say the current President is below par.”
Esau Mupfumi, a former Zanu PF legislator, was the informant in the alleged offence.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a deepening economic crisis that has created massive poverty amid steep price increases against stagnant wages.
Mnangagwa, as the country’s leader, is under pressure to find solutions to the recurrent crisis.