Trial deferred for Mugabe nude picture suspect

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THE trial of a Bulawayo shop assistant who was arrested for sending a nude picture of President Robert Mugabe on the social network, WhatsApp, purporting the picture was taken on February 21 2011 on Mugabe’s birthday, has been deferred to April 30.

RICHARD MUPONDE


Shantel Rusike (20) was not formally charged with causing hatred, contempt or ridicule of the President as defined in section (33) (2) (a) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa yesterday.

She is out of custody on $100 bail with stringent conditions.

Rusike was remanded out of custody after her defence counsel and the State agreed that she was a good candidate for bail.

Muchemwa said after listening to the corroborative submissions by both counsels, he was satisfied that Rusike had no propensity to abscond.

She was ordered to reside at her given address and to report once every week on Mondays at Bulawayo Central Police Station until the completion of the matter.

State counsel Malvern Nzombe told the court that on Christmas Eve at about 10:49pm, Rusike sent a picture on WhatsApp depicting a nude Mugabe.

Underneath the picture was written, “Robert Mugabe turning 87 years on 21 February 2011. Happy birthday, Matibili Operation.” An informant advised security agents who intercepted the picture, leading to Rusike’s arrest.

A docket was compiled against her.

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