By Marcus Mushonga in Harare , Zimbabwe
Harare — ZIMBABWEAN authorities have slapped a prison officer with cumbersome charges of undermining President Emmerson Mnangagwa after the man allegedly welcomed opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, online to a recent rally.
John Mahlabera (aged 36), who is employed at Chiredzi Prison in the southern Masvingo Province, to appear before a disciplinary hearing on June 12 to answer to charges of contravening sections of the Prison Staff (Discipline) Regulations of 1984.
According to Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS), Mahlabera posted a message on micro blogging site Twitter, which reads; “Come to Chiredzi my president.”
Chamisa addressed a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party rally at Jerera Growth Point in Zaka in Masvingo.
ZPCS said by posting such a message on Twitter, Mahlabera showed loyalty to Chamisa and disloyalty to Mnangagwa, who is also the commander of the Commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Four witnesses will testify against Mahlabera during the disciplinary hearing to be conducted in Masvingo.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) will represent the accused.
The organisation stated it had since 2010 compiled about 200 cases where people have been arrested and charged for “insulting or undermining the authority of the President.”
Human rights organisations accuse the administration of toppled leader, Robert Mugabe, for promulgating such legislation to maintain his stranglehold on power.
His 37-year reign ended last November after a military coup.