Man charged with possessing 'rude' Mugabe photosBy KITSEPILE NYATHI in Harare | Friday, June 1 2012 at 19:34
A Zimbabwean man has been charged for allegedly possessing nude pictures of President Robert Mugabe.
South Africa based Benias Gwenhamo Madhakasi was arrested in April in the border town of Beitbridge and has been languishing in remand prison since then.
Prosecutors say Madhakasi, who works as a hawker in South Africa, was arrested after he was found in possession of the 88-year-old leader’s pictures.
One of the pictures is alleged to have been found with an inscription that reads “Happy 87th birthday Robert Mugabe turning 87 years on 21 February 2011”.
The state argues he had no right to possess such “derogatory” pictures.
Prosecutors have vetoed a $200 bail order granted in Madhakasi’s favour pending an appeal.
The High Court was due to decide on the appeal Friday.
Night in jail
The man was also charged for allegedly surveying or making sketches, or taking photographs of protected areas.
Several Zimbabweans have been brought before the courts for insulting the long serving ruler.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) says it handles such cases on almost a daily basis.
“One of the most fascinating things at ZLHR is that everyday we are getting a case of a person being charged with the law of insulting the president,” the group said in a recent statement.
“If you say anything critical, especially mentioning governance and in particular the current president, you are likely to spend a night in jail.”
Last year, a minister in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office spent two days in police cells after he called President Mugabe a liar.
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