EIGHT years after allegedly calling President Robert Mugabe a dog and urging people to rise up against his government, former Masvingo Central MP Tongai Matutu appeared at the Gweru Magistrates’ Court last Friday facing charges of contravening Section 16(2) (b) of the Public Order and Security Act.
It is the State’s case that the former MDC-T MP for Masvingo central allegedly made remarks likely to lead to public disorder or incite an uprising at Ferry Training Centre in Zaka on June 25 2005, according to the summons.
“He uttered words that were threatening or insulting, intending to provoke a breach of peace or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that a breach of the peace may be provoked,” part of the summons reads.
It is alleged at the same meeting Matutu labelled Mugabe a dog and likened him to a tsunami.
Matutu allegedly said: “I have never seen a dog like Mugabe, a tsunami that killed people.
Zanu PF is not giving MDC-T supporters maize grain and you just stand watching and praying yet you are being ill-treated. The people should rise up against the government and not the other way round.”
Matutu, who was not represented, said the trial failed to kick off as the State failed to identify one of the witnesses while the other witness was deceased.
“I travelled to Gweru after receiving the summons, but the case failed to take off as one of the witnesses is deceased while the other one could not be located by the police,” Matutu said.
He said he was surprised why the State continued to pursue such a weak case insisting that Zanu PF was abusing the judiciary to punish political opponents.
Matutu’s summonses come hard on the heels of a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court which said some sections of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) which criminalises insulting the president were unconstitutional.