By Staff Reporter
Fadzayi Mahere, the national spokesperson of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has been found guilty of communicating falsehoods and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Mahere was found guilty on Wednesday of lying when she tweeted that a baby had been killed by a police officer in 2020.
She is alleged to have tweeted that a baton-wielding police officer enforcing COVID-19 lockdown regulations had fatally struck the baby of a woman identified as Rebecca Musariri in Harare’s central business district (CBD).
However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) refuted the claim, stating that the child was not killed.
The incident, which occurred in 2020, went viral on social media, with a video showing the mother clinging to a police officer, claiming that he had killed her baby.
Mahere’s tweet sparked outrage, and she was subsequently charged with communicating falsehoods, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.
During the hearing, the court went into mitigation before the magistrate handed down a sentence.
Mahere, a lawyer and human rights activist, has been an outspoken critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, which she accuses of suppressing dissent and violating human rights.
The verdict has drawn condemnation from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who are allege that the conviction is targeted at her because of her political beliefs.