A ZIMBABWEAN man is standing trial after he was arrested last month for allegedly insulting some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers, whom he accused of depositing funds collected from members of the public through corrupt means.
32 year-old Zephania Virimai, who resides in Tshovani high-density suburb in Chiredzi in Masvingo province, was arrested on 01 August 2017 and charged with undermining police authority as defined in Section 177 (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 09:23.
Prosecutors claimed that Virimai, who is represented by Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, undermined police authority after he allegedly insulted two ZRP officers namely Lazarus Nyahonzo and Slyna Nyamaropa, who were depositing some cash at a CBZ bank branch in Chiredzi collected by the ZRP in its policing operations.
Nyahonzo and Nyamaropa reportedly entered the CBZ bank branch intending to lodge money into the bank. Upon entering the bank, the ZRP officers were instructed by Kazamula Mudhungazi, a security officer at the CBZ bank to proceed to till number 2 to deposit the cash.
The ZRP officers reportedly started retrieving cash from a bag and that is when Virimai allegedly started insulting the law enforcement agents by saying “Mbavha idzo ngadzibvepo, which prosecutors translated to mean “Thieves move away from there”.
After realising that Nyahonzo and Nyamaropa were unmoved by the alleged insult, Virimai reportedly intensified the verbal attacks on the ZRP officers by saying “Zvimapurisa zvinobhenga mari yecorruption”, which prosecutors translated to mean “Rogue police officers who bank corruption money”.
Prosecutors charged that because of Virimai’s conduct, there was a real risk of engendering feelings or hostility towards such police officers or the police force or exposing the ZRP officers to contempt, ridicule or low esteem.
Virimai, whose trial commenced on Thursday 14 September 2017 before Chiredzi Magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges of undermining police authority, returns to court on Wednesday 04 October 2017 for continuation of his trial.