- The case underlined worsening of human rights in the trouble-prone southern African country.
- Mnangagwa has embarrassingly been excluded from President Joe Biden’s summit.
AZimbabwean couple arrested last year for sharing an image that depicted President Emmerson Mnangagwa naked has been freed.
Sarudzayi Ambiri Jani, 39, and Remember Ncube, 35, allegedly shared the image on WhatsApp.
The image depicted Mnangawa wearing ruling party Zanu-PF’s regalia around his neck with a male organ adorned with a mask at its end. It was first shared on a WhatsApp group belonging to a residents’ association. The couple was subsequently arrested for “undermining and insulting the president.”
While setting the duo free, magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba said no case against them had been brought forth as required by law. The couple was represented by lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Zimbabwe is still trying to recover from former President Robert Mugabe‘s 37 years of misrule. Mnangagwa, who took over power in 2017, inherit an economic and human rights mess. His record so far has been wanting, a point rubbed home by U.S President Joe Biden who excluded him from a virtual two-day roundtable meeting slated for December this year. The meeting will involve 100 heads of states from across the globe.
“If you look at the diplomatic performance of Zimbabwe, all the attempts to re-engage and even join the Commonwealth, they have been ‘Idi Amin’ in nature. As a statesman Mnangagwa should do better,” says Dr William Mpofu, a research fellow at the University of Witwatersrand.