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A ZIMBABWEAN court has set Martha O’Donovan, an American citizen, who was arrested last year and charged with subverting a constitutional government and undermining authority of or insulting Robert Mugabe, the country’s former President, free after Harare Magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta removed O’Donovan from remand.
Ever since Zimbabwe, in a bid to silence social media by establishing the Ministry of Cyber Security, threat Detection and Mitigation in October 2017, no one had been arrested apart from an American citizen Martha O’Donovan.
O’Donovan was charged with organised social media campaigns aimed at overthrowing or attempting to overthrow the then Mugabe’s Zanu pf regime.
Prosecutors alleged that Martha O’Donovan “systematically aimed to incite political unrest in Zimbabwe using social media platforms including Twitter accounts as Magamba Network Trust, @Matigary and OpenParlyZw
Prosecutors went on to claim that Martha O’Donovan undermined the then Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s authority or insulted him using a Twitter message ‘We are being led by a selfish sick man’ along with an image of Robert Mugabe with a catheter.
The prosecutors deemed the message as abusive, indecent, obscene and aimed at undermining the authority of or insulting deposed President Robert Mugabe.
Martha who was arrested on Friday 03 November 2017 went on to be charged with subverting a constitutional government as defined in Zimbabwen law, section 22(2)(a) (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 and also undermining authority of or insulting Zimbabwe’s President in contravention of section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23. More news to follow. By Sibusiso Ngwenya.