Zimbabwe court scraps controversial Mugabe insult law

2013-10-31 11:39

Harare – Zimbabwe's highest court has scrapped a law against insulting the president that has been used to arrest opponents and critics of veteran leader Robert Mugabe.

In the last decade, dozens of dissidents have been arrested on charges of insulting the 89-year-old ruler. Some, including a leading opposition figure who called Mugabe a "tired donkey" ahead of elections this year, have been detained for weeks.

But the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that the offence of undermining the authority of the president and "communicating falsehoods" ran counter to the freedom of expression enshrined in a Constitution introduced in March, a court official told Reuters.

"The Constitutional Court's ruling is that these provisions are not in line with basic rights of freedom of expression," said the official, who asked not to be named because the ruling has not yet been made public.

The minister of justice has until November 20 to appeal the ruling, the official added.

There was no immediate comment from the justice department.

Mugabe has been in power since the former Rhodesia's independence from Britain in 1980, although he has been accused of stealing elections through intimidation, violence and vote-rigging.

He has never commented directly on the "insult law", which was enacted when he became executive president in 1987.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.