Zanu PF activist and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s strident supporter, Energy Mutodi will spend the long weekend in remand prison after a Harare magistrate yesterday ruled that he was not a proper candidate for bail.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Mutodi was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly insinuated that President Robert Mugabe could be toppled in a military coup if he does not handle his succession properly.
The magistrate, Elisha Singano said Mutodi faced serious charges and could flee the country if released on bail.
“The court is of the considered view that because of the charges faced by the accused which on conviction warrants a lengthy jail term, they could be an inducement to abscond and go beyond the jurisdiction of the courts, therefore, on these grounds, the court rules that he is unsuitable for bail,” he ruled.
The Zanu PF politician who was immaculately dressed and relaxed throughout the hearing faces charges of causing disaffection among defence forces over the statements he posted on Facebook.
Through his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, Mutodi argued that his arrest was an infringement on his right to freedom of expression, among other rights as enrichened in the Constitution.
Mtetwa notified the court that they would challenge the arrest at the next remand date set for August 25.
Singano said Mutodi promoted hate speech, which could cause disharmony and instil hostility towards the security forces.
He said his chances of conviction were high.
Mtetwa requested to be furnished with a written judgement so that she could file an appeal at the High Court.
Mutodi was arrested after a local publication published extracts from his post titled: Why Choosing a Successor is a Difficult Job.
He allegedly said decision-making on succession issues had always been a problem among Africans resulting in civil wars, repetitive coups and economic turmoil.
He went on to give examples of Muammar Gaddafi, Laurent Gbagbo and Idi Amin, among others.
Mutodi has posted several articles in support of Mnangagwa in the fluid Zanu PF succession race.
Meanwhile, Mutodi and his brother yesterday appeared before the same magistrate facing charges of stealing a car last year.
The two were given $500 bail each and ordered to surrender their passports.