Police in Harare Central Police station have arrested MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere. She has been charged for ‘publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state’.
Her arrest comes after Mahere tweeted that police had beaten an infant to death while enforcing Covid-19 lockdown rules this week. This comes after a widely circulated video purportedly showed a baby killed by a policeman’s baton while strapped to its mother.
Mahere is the third person to be arrested for ‘publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state’ for posting widely circulated video. The earlier cases are Award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and MDC Alliance lawmaker Job Sikhala.
Before Mahere’s arrest, Chin’ono was the first to be arrested for circulating the video in question. Hopewell Chin’ono was apprehended by police Friday and charged under Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which deals with “publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State.”
Job Sikhala was arrested on Saturday on same charges & spent the weekend detained at Harare Central Police Station.
Mahere’s trouble was stirred by these tweets:
Hopewell Chin’ono on the other hand has issued a statement from prison saying he will not apply for bail but challenge the law under which he is being incarcerated. Chin’ono wrote:
Legal experts and human rights defenders contend that the statute was struck down by the Constitutional Court in 2014 in a matter brought by two Zimbabwe Independent newspaper journalists.