ZimLive editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu, has been charged with undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In an interview with CITE, Mathuthu’s lawyer, Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys said the charge emanated from a tweet that was posted on May 17 when President Mnangagwa announced that the government was suspending the lending of banks.
“Mathuthu is facing charges of undermining the authority of the president or insulting the president,” he said and before he was released, noted Mathuthu had been arrested but not detained in cells.
The tweet read: I understand Mnangangwa was in Glen Lorne drinking when he was called to read this and Mthuli Ncube and John Mangudgya only learnt of the bank lending suspension when they were shown the speech. Work of some CIO economics department.“
Mathuthu was later released after police took a warned and cautioned statement, said his lawyer.
“They profiled him and said they will contact us. It’s a way of saying they are investigating the matter if they contact us we will go to court. The charge is nonsensical, there is no substance but we will wait for them. They have downloaded the tweet and they have it,” Sithole noted.
The veteran journalist presented himself Monday morning at the Bulawayo Central Station, Criminal Investigations Department’s Law and Order Section of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
He was briefly detained before police released him after taking a warned and cautioned statement
This was after the CID Law and Order wrote to Mathuthu’s lawyers, Ncube Attorneys, that “this station is investigating a case where Mduduzi Mathuthu is a suspect and we want him for some interview. May you treat this issue as a matter of urgency.”
The letter comes a few days after some unidentified men raided Mathuthu’s home, which was seen as an attempt to abduct him since police claimed they were not aware law enforcement agents were looking for him.
In a tweet posted Sunday, Mathuthu had said, “Early tomorrow I must submit myself to CID Law and Order in Bulawayo, the crew that in July 2020 abetted the abduction and torture of my nephew Tawanda Muchehiwa. We reported the abduction and still await the outcome. The people they urgently must be seeking are Tawanda’s abductors.
“My family has had a rather unfair share of abuse at the hands of state institutions. You sleep with one eye open, for they can come anytime. They say it’s a New Dispensation but the only new thing is the intensification of restrictions of constitutionally-guaranteed rights.”