A Zimbabwean policeman has been arrested and arraigned in court for calling the African longest ruler, “too old to rule” and also for naming his wife a sex worker.
According to a local media reported on Wednesday, the policeman got himself into the mess for calling the 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe an “elderly man,” and is now facing charges for his actions.
Thompson Joseph Mloyi, 44, based at Craneborne Barracks in Harare was not allowed to enter a plea at a magistrate’s court in Harare over the comments he made at a camp shared by police and the army.
This means that after his charges were read to him while before the court, he didn’t plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. In a plea of no contest, the defendant neither admits nor disputes the criminal charges.
The ZRP officer was later granted $100 bail at the hearing on Tuesday by Zimbabwean’s magistrate Elijah Makomo and the case was adjourned for trial on March 15 for “raining scornfully abusive remarks to the office of the president.”
His case started on the morning of March 5 when he entered one of the barracks at Craneborne camp and met fellow officers getting ready for work.
Then he began screaming that President Robert Mugabe is too old to lead Zimbabwe and (that) he tied the knot with a sex worker, Grace Mugabe, without anything prompting the comment.
The prosecution side told the court that the officers present tried to stop him but Mloyi walked out on them. This led the other police officers to report him at Harare Central which brought about his arrest.
This is not the first time people have been charged for making disrespectful comments about Mugabe and those found guilty pay restitution fee or fine.
In December, a ruling party legislator was seized for making abusive remarks about Grace Mugabe during a misunderstanding with a fellow party official in Victoria Falls.
Mugabe turned 92 last month but has made it clear that he will stay in power until God says come. he had also joked that he would rule till he turns 100.
He recently assured his supporters that he will continue his leadership under his coalition ZANU-PF party, which is almost ripped apart as they struggle for succession.
He, in an interview, even threatened to knock his interviewer down to prove to him that he is still here, strong and hopes to extend his leadership.
Since signs of ageing smiles on to him, his wife Grace, 50, turned an active politician. This was after she was appointed the leader of the party’s women’s league.
A bit of rumor once said she might succeed her husband after he loses hold of power. Speaking on his birthday, Mugabe criticised party youth he said took to social media platforms to undermine his wife.
Some social media users have been reacting to this story, asking the actual offence of the man. In a sarcastic tune, a user asked him how anyone could have said that Mr. Mugabe is old, adding that Mr. Mugabe is a young strapping, hunk with the stamina of a bull and the gallop of a stallion.
Another person said he thought Uganda was bad, didn’t know Zimbabwean could make such arbitrary arrest. Well, a few went deeper with irony as one person conceded that the president is too old but must rule till he dies.
Another user seconded this and said he has no offence about the whole story as long as internationally they are known to condone freedom of expression.