A Bulawayo court has freed a Mthwakazi Republic Party activist who last month claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa was responsible for the killing of his parents during the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres by the military.
Wisdom Mkhwananzi was being accused of undermining the President’s authority after he boldly pointed at Mnangagwa’s portrait while making the claims.
This was when he appeared before the Mnangagwa appointed Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-electoral violence in which six civilians were gunned down by what is widely believed to be a group of soldiers who were deployed to quell the Harare skirmishes.
Mkhwananzi was among a group of firebrand activists from the pro-Matebeleland group that vowed to stop the hearing if it did not address the hitherto unresolved issue of the massacres that claimed 20,000 lives from Matebeleland and Midlands provinces.
As then State Security Minister, Mnangagwa’s name features prominently among those who masterminded the atrocities.
After making the claims, Mkhwananzi was immediately arrested and charged for allegedly undermining the authority of the President as defined in section 33 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, assault and lying under oath.
He was also charged for “unlawfully and intentionally” supplying a false name to the inquiry commission after he had initially identified himself as Siphamandla Mafu.
However, when he appeared before a Bulawayo court again on Tuesday, presiding magistrate Rachel Mukanga ruled that the state’s case was weak.
She proceeded to rule that the case would now proceed by the way of summons if new evidence on the case came up.
When he was arrested last month, Mkhwananzi triggered a melee which forced the proceedings to be temporarily suspended after he was resisting his arrest.
Several other activists were picked up by the police on the day.
The trio of Welcome Moyo, Marshal Sibanda and Venat Ncube who were arrested together with Mkhwananzi also appeared before magistrate Mukanga.
They are facing charges of public violence as defined in section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
They were remanded out of custody to December 5, 2018.