Sibanda’s Mugabe coup trial postponed

Sibanda’s Mugabe coup trial postponed

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ZIMBABWE – FORMER war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda on Monday applied for postponement of a case in which he is accused of insulting President Robert Mugabe pending a ruling from the Constitutional Court.

Sibanda, who is facing charges of breaching a controversial Mugabe insult law, through his lawyer Hardlife Tsuro, told court his application was yet to be heard at Con-Court.

Magistrate Francis Mapfumo remanded the case to December 15 pending the outcome of a Con-Court application.

Sibanda arrest followed his rant in which he accused the veteran Zimbabwean leader and his wife Grace of plotting a bedroom coup.

He also allegedly threatened to mobilise war veterans to march on State House.

However, through his then defence attorney, Sobusa-Gula Ndebele, Sibanda argued that the charge had the effect of infringing on his rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.

Ndebele made an application that the charge was against his client constitutional right to freedom of expression.

Sibanda is being accused of insulting or undermining the authority of the president and is out of custody on $400 bail.

Allegations against Sibanda arose on October 27, 2014 at Hebert Mine in Mutasa.

The former war veterans leader is alleged to have delivered a lengthy speech stating that Mugabe and his wife were planning to remove then vice president Joice Mujuru and replace her with the First Lady.

According to the prosecutors, Sibanda further said such a move by the first couple would be unacceptable because power is not “sexually transmitted.

The application for referral of the case to the Con-Court was granted by then presiding magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe, who conceded that the lower courts needed guidance from the superior courts on such cases.

As part of bail conditions, Sibanda has been barred from mobilising anyone to march to any state institution.

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