BUSINESSMAN Energy Mutodi’s case could not be heard before a Harare court this week after the State referred the docket back to the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) for further “management”.
Mutodi, 39, an avid supporter of new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is charged with causing disaffection in the defence forces and insulting former president Robert Mugabe.
The case has however, failed to start on several occasions at State’s instance. The businessman and musician is represented by Harare attorney Beatrice Mtetwa.
His arrest followed remarks on social media warning that the country risked a coup “if the thorny succession issue” was not resolved amicably, adding that Mugabe should consult the military to avert chaos.
“While a military takeover may be far-fetched in Zimbabwe, it is important for … Mugabe needs to be careful in naming his successor. Any suspicion of unfairness or discrimination on account of tribalism or factionalism may backfire,” Mutodi wrote.
“There are key stakeholders that need to be consulted, among them the military and the whole security establishment called the Joint Operations Command that is chaired by Vice-President Mnangagwa.”
The comments were made at a time the succession battle in the ruling Zanu PF party was reaching fever pitch. It pitted the Lacoste group, backing Mnangagwa and the G40 faction which enjoyed the support of the 93-year-old Mugabe and his wife Grace.
As it turned out, Mutodi’s warning about a possible couple was not as far-fetched as he suggested.
Mugabe miscalculated when he sacked Mnangagwa as vice president and expelled him from Zanu PF. The G40 leader escaped into exile warning his boss that he would be back in two weeks to take over as president.
And sure enough, the military soon took to the streets in dramatic events that led to Mugabe’s resignation and Mnangagwa taking over as President within the two-week time-frame he had promised.