Sarudzayi Ambiri Jani, 38, and Remember Simbarashe Ncube, 34, face up to one year behind bars after they shared a fake image of Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the nude via WhatsApp.
Under Zimbabwe’s ominous Criminal Law Act, the pair were charged with undermining the authority of – or insulting – the president. According to Zimbabwean media, they stand accused of making an “abusive, indecent or obscene statement about President Mnangagwa that may engender feelings of hostility towards him”.
Edited nude photo of Emmerson Mnangagwa leads to arrests
The picture itself is, well, it sure is something. If you like a good, tasteful photoshopped image… you’re going to have to go somewhere else, because this was far from subtle…
- Mnangagwa is depicted almost fully naked.
- He’s been edited to look like he is only wearing Zanu-PF garments around his neck.
- There is a male… appendage… attached to a mask across his face. It’s not a modest thing, put it that way.
How the pair were caught
The Beitbridge residents shared the obscene image in a WhatsApp group featuring some of their community members. However, they ended up getting grassed-up in spectacular fashion – Chief Inspector Kenneth Mushongahande, of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, just so happened to be in their communal chat.
They were reported and arrested immediately after Mushongahande clocked the image. For one reason or another, this entire charade also demands a criminal trial. The couple are set to face the court on 3 July, where they are likely to face an uphill battle to explain themselves.
Latest Zimbabwe news and updates: Emmerson Mnangagwa outlines recovery plans
Mnangagwa, meanwhile, has been under fire for his response to the coronavirus crisis. His last public communication was via Twitter – and definitely not WhatsApp – where he outlined Zimbabwe’s plans to overcome a disease that has floored almost every country in the world.
Today, I updated the Zimbabwean people on the latest regarding our battle against Covid-19. I emphasised the new normal we will all have to get used to, and outlined our bold reform agenda as we seek to get our economy back on track and build a better future for all: pic.twitter.com/IseD2hdVZF
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) June 12, 2020