By Fungai Lupande
Controversial Kariba self- appointed pastor Patrick Mugadza who “prophesied” President Mugabe’s death, yesterday applied for exception to the charge, saying it was vague.
Mugadza is accused of insulting the Christian religion and African tradition by uttering words that are taboo to predict someone’s death. In his application through his lawyer Mr Obey Shava, Mugadza said the charge was absurd.
“A more vague statement has never been printed,” he said. “The charge sheet claims that the statement made intended to cause offence or realised the risk or possibility of doing so, this is absurd.
“The material averment that the accused intended to cause offence is glaringly missing. This is vague and embarrassing as it leaves accused speculating the meaning of such a loose coalition of words.
“The proceedings cannot continue on the basis of such a defective charge. State has failed to mention a single race, tribe, place of origin, creed or religion which was offended.”
Mr Shava told the court that the accused was prejudiced of his ability to prepare a defence.
“The accused does not know if he is facing the charge of insulting or making grossly provocative statement,” he said. “It leaves him wondering which part to answer to.”
The prosecutor Mr Venencia Mtake consented that the charge was defective and submitted an amended one.
The magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta gave the defence time to study the amended charges.
The matter was remanded to April 19.
It was alleged that on January 12 this year, Mugadza was interviewed by the Zimbabwe Mail, an online publication.