Zimbabwean man on the run after blocking first lady's cavalcade

01 July 2019 - 17:24 By Lenin Ndebele
Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Auxilia. File photo.
Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Auxilia. File photo.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for a Bulawayo man who obstructed first lady Auxilia Mnangagwa’s motorcade in the city last month.

Thulani Zibonele Sibanda, 41, was initially arrested by two police officers at traffic lights  along Robert Mugabe Way while the first lady and her team were driving towards the Joshua Nkomo International Airport.

According to police documents, Sibanda jumped on to the road carrying two stones and had the intention of hitting the motorcade.

He appeared in court on June 19 charged under the Criminal Law and Codification Act for “disorderly conduct” and was granted free bail. His next court date was set as June 21. However, he did not appear for the next hearing, prompting regional magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi to issue the arrest warrant.

Police officers have since visited Sibanda’s supplied address but he is nowhere to be found. Fears are that he has skipped the country.

In Zimbabwe, obstructing a presidential motorcade carries a custodial sentence or fine.

Last month, the ministry of information and publicity was forced to issue a warning to motorists and pedestrians to fully co-operate with law enforcement agents when there is a presidential motorcade in motion. This was after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s motorcade was involved in minor accidents.

"In the past week, there have been two incidents where two motorists have obstructed the presidential motorcade, therefore endangering the life of the principal (Mnangagwa), the public, the escorting security and themselves. May we encourage commuting motorists to co-operate with law enforcement support teams," the ministry said.