ZIMBABWE – A VENDOR has been acquitted of “undermining the authority of the President” after his 2009 arrest.
Simba Nyoka, 35, of Entumbane suburb in Bulawayo, was arrested outside a Buscod supermarket in the city centre while allegedly handing out fliers disparaging President Mugabe.
One of the messages on the flyer, a court heard yesterday, said: “Mugabe believes he’s still in control, he’s not. His time is up.”
Prosecutor Simbarashe Manyiwa told the court that Segeant Chandakaita Chuma and Constable Justice Muzarurwi were on duty and in civilian clothes when they observed Nyoka handing out the fliers.
“The police officers approached Nyoka, who also gave them the fliers. Sgt Chandakaita identified himself to the vendor and arrested him before confiscating the fliers, which were held as evidence,” said Manyiwa.
“Before arresting him, the police officers ordered Nyoka to pick up some of the fliers that were lying on the ground but he refused.”
In his defence, Nyoka denied the allegations and told the court that he was selling sugar beans and dried fish when the two police officers arrested him.
Acquitting Nyoka, magistrate Gladmore Mushowe said the state had presented no evidence.
She said police officers failed to bring witnesses, although they claimed that they had seen Nyoka handing over the fliers to people that were coming in and out of the supermarket.