EMBATTLED former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda, who was arrested last week and charged for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe, was yesterday released on $400 bail, but forbidden from setting foot at the ongoing Zanu PF congress or organising a protest march to any State institution.
Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe gave Sibanda the green light to have his matter referred to the Supreme Court, saying the application was neither vexatious nor frivolous.
Sibanda is facing allegations of insulting Mugabe, which is criminalised by Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
“The likelihood that he (Sibanda) will commit further offences would have been strong if the State had shown that the accused attempted to do so,” Chikwekwe said.
“However, the State failed to substantiate this assertion.”
The magistrate ruled that it was unlikely that Sibanda would interfere with State witnesses as he did not know who among the people who attended the gathering, where Sibanda allegedly claimed that Mugabe and First Lady Grace were hatching a bedroom or boardroom coup through which they wanted to remove Vice-President Joice Mujuru from her position, was going to testify.
Allegations against Sibanda are that on October 27 2014 at Herbert Mine in Mutasa, he addressed an illegal gathering of war veterans who had come to witness the reburial of liberation war fighters’ bodies exhumed from a mine shaft.
Sibanda allegedly claimed that Mugabe wanted to replace Mujuru with the First Lady.
The State further alleged that Sibanda vowed to block the plan saying “power was not sexually transmitted”.