POLICE have summoned for trial, a 46-year-old Karoi woman on charges of undermining the authority of then President Robert Mugabe five years ago.
Flora Karosi is said to have committed the crime sometime in July of 2013.
According to the summons, Karosi undermined and insulted Mugabe after she allegedly uttered an abusive, indecent and obscene statement concerning the former leader’s advanced age.
Then Mugabe (94) was 89 years old at the time.
Karosi is alleged to have said, “KaPresident kenyu kachembere kanokwikwidza nevana vadiki (Your little president is a geriatric who wants to compete with the young)”.
According to the State, by doing so, Karosi acted unlawfully.
But the trial which was supposed to kick off on the 4th of December this year, did not commence after her lawyer Kudzai Choga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) challenged State prosecutors and argued that the charges preferred against Karosi were defective while the complainants were also inclined towards withdrawing the charges seeing that Mugabe is no longer the leader of the country.
In 2013, the Constitutional Court scrapped the provision of insulting the President.
The court ruled that the offence of “undermining the authority of the president” and “communicating falsehoods” ran counter to the freedom of expression enshrined in a new constitution which was introduced in March 2013.
The ConCourt ruling was that the provision were not in line with basic rights of freedom of expression.
During Mugabe’s rule, the law was used to arrest opponents and critics of the veteran politician.
The new administration under President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also seen his critics being dragged to court under the same provisions.