ZEC Chair Chigumba to testify in court

ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba is set to testify in a matter in which a Harare socialite is being tried for allegedly posting obscenities using her name on Twitter.

Shadaya (25) who was arrested after re-tweeting a post from a fake Priscilla Chigumba account successfully made an application to change his guilty plea.

Night Tawona Shadaya Taona faces criminal insult charges after he allegedly retweeted a message from a “ghost” account named after her.

Prosecutor Peter Kachirika Monday asked for postponement of his case to November 20 so that he could serve Chigumba with court subpoenas.

“The state is yet to serve the complainant and we are applying for a postponement so that she could summon her,” he said.

Taona once pleaded guilty to the charge and was convicted of the offence before he changed his plea after the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) took interest and picked up his case.

He successfully applied for change of plea while claiming he made the guilty plea under duress.

The ZLHR lawyers told court that they perused Shadaya’s docket and the plea but could not find details of whether the Twitter account in the name of Chigumba was real or fake.

The rights lawyers argued that there is no charge on what Shadaya did because he merely repeated what the complainant “had posted” in the Twitter account.

According to the state, sometime in August this year, an unknown person created a Twitter account in the name of Justice Chigumba and tweeted a message which read: “I can’t wait for the elections fiasco to come to an end. I could do with a holiday and some good sex. My body needs a break.”

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The court heard that in the same month, Shadaya retweeted the message, thereby seriously impairing Chigumba’s dignity.

Chigumba was alerted by a friend who saw the message.

The court heard the ZEC boss does not own the Twitter account in question.

Shadaya initially pleaded guilty indicating that he had been drunk when he made the retweet.