A ZANU PF activist was yesterday fined $200 for defacing a campaign poster belonging to MDC Alliance Gweru Urban parliamentary candidate, Brian Dube.
Emmanuel Mangena (28) of village 1B, Lahleka in Silobela was convicted on his own plea of guilty to a charge of violating a section of the Electoral Act chapter 2:13 “damaging an electoral poster” when he appeared before provincial magistrate, Pathekile Msipa.
Msipa ordered him to pay a $200 fine, and in default he would serve two months in jail. A further three months were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
In her ruling, Msipa said a custodial sentence would be too harsh since Mangena was a first offender who had shown contrition for his actions.
In his defence Mangena, who appeared in court clad in a Zanu PF campaign T-shirt, said he was drunk on the day in question, an excuse Msipa shot down saying he had targetted only one poster among others at the place.
She said if such actions went unchecked they were likely to cause violence, adding that people had a right to carry out their political campaigns in a peaceful manner.
The court heard that on July 1, Dube’s election agents, Zondai Mtetwa and Sithembinkosi Mulahleke were pasting up campaign posters in Northlea suburb where they later intercepted Mtetwa pulling down the posters.
Mtetwa and Mulahleke effected a citizen’s arrest on Mangena and handed him in at Gweru Central Police Station.