Zimbabwean police on Monday 11 January 2021 arrested lawyer and opposition Movement for Democratic (MDC) Alliance party spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere and charged her with inciting or promoting public disorder or public violence after she allegedly tweeted about the abuse of a minor by a police officer.
Advocate Mahere was detained at Harare Central Police Station, where Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members accused her of publishing or communicating a false statement with the intention of inciting or promoting public disorder or public violence or endangering public safety as defined in section 31(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.ZRP members also pressed an alternative charge against the MDC-Alliance party spokesperson of publishing or communicating a false statement with the intention of undermining public confidence in a law enforcement agency as defined in section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Advocate Mahere, who is represented by David Drury and Andria Honey and Blanckenberg Legal Practitioners and assisted by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, is expected to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Tuesday 12 January 2021.
Advocate Mahere becomes the third person to be arrested following the apprehension last week of freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Zengeza West constituency legislator Hon. Job Sikhala, who were all charged with publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State as defined in section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Prosecutors claim that Chin’ono and Hon. Sikhala shared some statements on social media platforms falsely alleging that a child had been beaten to death by a police officer after law enforcement agents assaulted the mother of the child in Harare.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)