29 Dec 2011- Zimbabwe- An MDC-T legislator accused of calling President Robert Mugabe gay was finally released on bail Wednesday after spending Christmas in police cells for her troubles.
Supporters celebrated outside a Mutare magistrates’ court when the state failed to file arguments preventing Lynette Karenyi’s release on bail.
The Chimanimani West MP was granted $200 bail on December 20, but the state immediately invoked a law which allows detention for up to seven days after bail is granted.
Karenyi’s lawyer, David Tandire however, warned supporters outside the court the case was not over.
“So she can now be released after paying bail," he said. "On 12 January, that is when trial resumes.”
Karenyi is accused of undermining the authority of, or insulting, the president.
She allegedly told party supporters at a rally earlier in the month that President Mugabe had gay affairs with a Zanu PF politburo member as well as with former president, Canaan Banana, who was jailed for two years for sodomy in 1997.
Kirenyi denies the allegations.
Mugabe has dismissed gays and lesbians as "worse than pigs and dogs who know their natural mating partners."
His Zanu PF party is strongly opposed to the inclusion of gay rights in the new constitution the country is drafting ahead of general elections expected next year.
Karenyi was granted a $200 bail Tuesday but prosecutors immediately invoked a law which suspends bail for seven days as the state decides whether to appeal the bail ruling.
The MDC-T claims the "trumped up charges" against Kirenyi were politically motivated and an effort by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to "decimate our party."
"(Zanu PF) wants to push us out of the government. We have no problem with arrests, but when the law is selectively applied, there is a problem," MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said when she was arrested.
"This unnecessarily strains relations in our government."
The MDC said the case was an example of state institutions being "abused" by Zanu PF for political reasons.