WEEKEND IN JAIL FOR MUTODI | Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, Energy Mutodi, who is facing criminal charges of undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority, is to spend the weekend behind bars after his bail application was postponed to Tuesday next week.
High Court judge Justice Clement Phiri postponed the matter by consent after Mutodi’s lawyer, Taona Nyamakura, and the State’s representative Tapiwa Kasema agreed to have the case rolled over to next week
Kasema made an application for postponement, saying Mutodi had not provided the State with a court record from the magistrates’ court, a position which was confirmed by Nyamakura.
On Wednesday this week, Mutodi filed an affidavit defending his Facebook post claiming it was based on his constitutional right to freedom of expression.Mutodi (39), who is also a businessman and musician, was last week arrested and further charged with causing disaffection among members of the defence forces.
In his affidavit, he defended his commentary on the social media platform, arguing it was based on Mugabe’s speech and did not warrant any criminal charges to be laid against him.
Through his lawyers, Mutodi said he had since given notice to the State that he would challenge his arrest at the next remand date on the basis that his Facebook article, read as a whole, does not disclose an offence.
Last week, Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano denied Mutodi bail and remanded him in custody after ruling that it was justified for the State to continue detaining him until his next remand date, being August 25.
In his submission, Mutodi said Singano erred and misdirected himself by denying him bail based on “facts and grounds” that he created on his own, which were not relied upon by the State.
He further said there were no compelling reasons advanced by the State warranting him not to be released on $100 bail coupled with other bail conditions.
Mutodi’s arrest followed his article on his social media networking wall, where he said Zimbabwe risked a coup “if the thorny succession issue” was not resolved amicably.