A BULAWAYO man charged with insulting or undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe by allegedly confronting Zanu PF youths who had invaded a building he wanted to occupy was yesterday found not guilty and discharged.
Richard John Bloxham (41) of Suburbs had denied the charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Crispen Mberewere and he was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Mberewere indicated that the State failed to prove its case against Bloxham beyond reasonable doubt. Bloxham’s acquittal came after two witnesses Zwelithini Malinga and Luka Chigwedere, both Zanu PF youth members, had testified that he insulted them using the name of the president at a house in Parkview that they had occupied.
Malinga had told the court that Environment, Climate and Water minister Saviour Kasukuwere had authorised them to implement the indigenisation programme when they entered the property where Bloxham insulted them in.
Bloxham had been authorised to occupy the same property by its Europe-based owner when the Zanu PF youths invaded it.
Bloxham had joined a long list of Zimbabweans who were arrested and taken to the courts for allegedly insulting Mugabe or undermining his authority.
The Constitutional Court late last year made a landmark ruling noting that some sections of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act under which alleged Mugabe critics were being arrested and prosecuted were unconstitutional.