A NATIONAL University of Science and Technology (Nust) graduate who shouted calling for President Robert Mugabe to provide jobs to the graduates during a graduation ceremony on Friday was yesterday convicted of criminal nuisance on his own plea by a Bulawayo magistrate.
Advance Musoki (23), who was graduating on the day pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Adeline Mbeure.The magistrate convicted and sentenced him to two weeks in prison with an option of a $50 fine.
In mitigation, being represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Lawyer Mehluli Dube, Musoki submitted that he was a first offender and asked the court to balance between the interests of justice and the society.
He also said the court must consider the economic situation which has rendered many people desperate to a point that the accused could commit such an offence out of frustration.
“The court must consider that he is a first offender and it is not good for first offenders to be sent to jail in case they become hard core criminals,” Dube submitted.
The court must consider that he pleaded guilty to the charge without wasting court’s time showing that he has contrition. The court must deal with this case in view of the current economic hardships. In this case the fact that someone graduates and fails to get a job and this is frustrating.
“In this case there is an option of a fine up to level five and I ask for the court to impose a $10 fine to meet the justice of this case.”
The court was told that Musoki was part of the graduands for a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Risk Management and Insurance at Nust on November 4, this year.
During the university’s graduation ceremony he protested against President Robert Mugabe’s government’s failure to create employment opportunities. Musoki stood up during the Nust graduation ceremony and uttered the words “Mabasa Ngaadzoke President” three times, meaning (bring back jobs President).
He was whisked away by the security personnel leading to his arrest and being charged with committing criminal nuisance in contravention of Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.