A police officer who was facing charges of insulting Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba by calling her ‘an idiot’ through a WhatsApp message has been acquitted by a Harare magistrate. Mabasa, 35, a police officer stationed at Police General Headquarters, pleaded not guilty when he appeared before magistrate Sande charged with sending offensive messages over a phone and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
It was the State’s case that on May 15, detectives from CID Homicide Harare, received anonymous WhatsApp message denigrating the Office of the Press and Public Relations Department and the personality of Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
Investigations carried out revealed that the phone number belonged to Mabasa and follow ups were made leading to his arrest. He was searched and a Techno Tablet and Astro cell phone were recovered from him. It was alleged that his Techno Tablet was searched and the messages he sent on April 16 this year denigrating Snr Asst Comm Charamba were found.
He was taken to Harare Central Police Station where he was interviewed in connection with the messages.
During the interview, Mabasa allegedly grabbed the Techno tablet and smashed it on the floor in an effort to destroy the evidence.
Presiding magistrate Josephine Sande indicated that the State failed to prove that the messages were directed to Snr Asst Comm Charamba. She also said that the confiscation of James Mabasa’s phone by the investigating officers was illegal and it deprived him of his right to privacy.
Oscar Madhume appeared for the State.